Selena Gomez began her career as a child actress. Born in 1992, she grew up in Texas and got her first break as a cast member on the kids TV show Barney and Friends. Gomez landed minor roles in several other TV programs.
It was her affiliation with the Disney Channel -- who discovered her during a nation0-wide talent search in 2004 -- that officially jumpstarted her acting career. Guest appearances on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Hannah Montana paved the way for Gomez's own show.
Dubbed "the next Miley Cyrus," Gomez began juggling her commitment to The Wizards of Waverly Place with additional projects, including movie roles and a burgeoning singing career. Gomez began branching out into pop music by recording songs for her own Disney projects.
The band's full-length debut, Kiss & Tell, was released that year and went gold, as did its 2010 follow-up, A Year Without Rain. Gomez continued filming The Wizards of Waverly Place and made her theatrical debut in the 2010 film adaptation of Ramona and Beezus, but her music gathered just as much attention, as did a highly publicized relationship with fellow teen idol Justin Bieber.