An emotionally raw Demi Lovato made her triumphant return to the Grammys stage on Sunday night.
Performing for the first time since her 2018 overdose and subsequent hospitalization, the pop star debuted her new single “Anyone” at the 62nd annual ceremony in Los Angeles.
Introduced by “Little Women” director Great Gerwig, a visibly shaken Lovato, who skipped the red carpet ahead of the award show, began her performance only to break down in tears seconds later.
But she quickly restarted the song again and proceeded to blow everyone away with her vocals, belting about feeling isolated during her struggle with substance abuse.
“I tried to talk to my piano / I tried to talk to my guitar / Talked to my imagination,” she sang. “Confided into alcohol / I tried and tried and tried some more.”
The comeback performance earned Lovato a standing ovation from the crowd, with fellow artists like Lizzo cheering her on from the audience at the end of the song.
In an interview with Zane Lowe ahead of the telecast, Lovato opened up about her life over the past year and revealed she wrote the song shortly before her overdose as a “cry for help.”
“I was recording it in a state of ― where I thought I was OK, but clearly I wasn’t,” she explained. “I even listen back to it and I’m like, gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.”
She added, “You kind of listen back to it, and you think ‘How did nobody listen to this song and think, let’s help this girl?’”
The Disney Channel alum is making a very public return to the spotlight this month. Days after her Grammys performance, she’ll sing the national anthem to open Super Bowl LIV in Miami at Hard Rock Stadium.
After she was found unconscious in her Hollywood Hills home in July 2018, the singer entered rehab for the third time and completed 90 days of treatment for substance abuse issues.
She kept a low profile in the year since, but managed to keep her fans looped in on her road to recovery, as she advocated for body positivity and mental health on her social media account.
Lovato made her first public appearance in 2019 at the Teen Vogue Summit in November, where she candidly spoke out about the hardships she’s faced over the “very introspective” past year.
“What I see in the mirror: I see someone who has overcome a lot,” Lovato said at the event. “I don’t see a championship winner in there, but I see a fighter, and I see someone that’s going to continue to fight no matter what challenges are thrown their way.”
She later added, “I wouldn’t change the direction of my life for anything. … I would never regret anything. I love the person that I am today.”