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Demi Lovato made her anticipated return to the stage during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, marking her first performance since she was hospitalized for an apparent drug overdose in July 2018, days after the final date on her Tell Me You Love Me World Tour.
For her return to the stage, Lovato performed her new song, “Anyone.” At the beginning of her song, Lovato immediately grew visibly emotional, having to restart her performance. Throughout the heartfelt song, Lovato sang with tears streaming down her face as she sang deep lyrics such as “Why do I pray anyway if nobody is listening?” and “I feel stupid when I sing. Nobody is listening to me. Is there anyone?”
The singer revealed the title of her new song in an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. During their sit-down interview, the singer explained that the song was recorded four days prior to her overdose and, though she was unaware at the time, the lyrics of the song were seemingly “a cry for help.”
“You kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, how did nobody listen to this song and think, ‘Let’s help this girl’?” she said. “I even think that I was recording it in a state of mind where I felt like I was OK, but clearly I wasn’t. I even listened back to it and I’m like, ‘Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.’ I feel like I was in denial.”
Lovato first teased her music comeback on Instagram in December, posting a cryptic message telling fans that the “next time you hear from me, I’ll be singing.” Lovato, who has been open about her sobriety and battle with drug addiction, last released new music in June 2018. In the single, titled “Sober,” the singer suggests she has relapsed after being sober for six years.
In the 2017 YouTube documentary Simply Complicated, Lovato admits she went to rehab for the first time in 2010.
“I felt out of control the first time I did it,” she says. “My dad was an addict and an alcoholic. Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”
Lovato first broke her silence post-hospitalization at the Teen Vogue Summit in Los Angeles in November, where she admitted that she was “a little nervous” for her “first public thing back.” After her ordeal, Lovato says she now views herself as a changed person who has “overcome a lot.”
Apart from the Grammys, Lovato is set to sing the National Anthem during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Lovato is also set to make a guest appearance on the upcoming season of NBC’s Will & Grace.
The Grammy Awards aired live from the Staples Center on CBS, with Alicia Keys hosting.