Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress, singer, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who is best known for her contributions in the role of Alex Russo to the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place. She subsequently ventured into feature films and has starred in the television movies Another Cinderella Story, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, and Princess Protection Program and made her theatrical film debut in Ramona and Beezus.
Enhancing her repertoire into the music industry, Gomez is the lead singer for the pop band Selena Gomez & the Scene who, together, have released two studio albums Kiss & Tell and A Year Without Rain. She has also contributed to the soundtracks of Tinker Bell, Another Cinderella Story and Wizards of Waverly Place after signing a record deal with Hollywood Records.
Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas to Ricardo Gomez and former stage actress Mandy Teefey (née Cornett). Her father is Mexican American and her mother is of half Italian descent. Her birth parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was raised as an only child by her working mother. In 2006, Mandy remarried Brian Teefey. She is named after Tejano singer Selena. In a 2009 interview with People, Gomez mentioned that she developed an early interest in acting from watching her mother prepare for and act in theater productions. She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling in May 2010. 
Gomez began her acting career at age seven, playing Gianna on Barney & Friends. She said that she learned "everything" about how to act while on the show. Season 7 of Barney & Friends, when Selena Gomez was on the show, was held up for some time. Because of this, the episodes featuring Gomez did not air until she was in 5th grade. This resulted in some mild controversy/confusion as to whether she was on Barney in the 5th grade or the 1st grade. She later had minor roles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and the TV film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel in a nation wide scouting. Gomez appeared as a guest star on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and had a guest appearance – that later turned into a recurring role – on Hannah Montana from season's two to three. In early 2007 Gomez was cast in the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place as one of the three main characters, Alex Russo.
In 2008, Gomez appeared in Another Cinderella Story, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2004 Hilary Duff film, opposite Drew Seeley. She also had a minor voiceover role as one the Mayor's ninety-six daughters in Horton Hears a Who! which released in March of that year. In April, Lacey Rose, of Forbes ranked Gomez as being fifth on their "Eight Hot Kid Stars To Watch" list; and Rose described Gomez as having been "a multitalented teen". In June, 2009, Gomez appeared in the made-for-television Disney Channel movie, Princess Protection Program with her then best friend Demi Lovato. On August 28, one month after appearing in Princess Protection Program, Gomez appeared in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a made-for-television film based on the show.
In 2009, Gomez did a guest appearance as herself in one episode, of Lovato's Disney Channel television show Sonny With a Chance, entitled "Battle of The Network Stars". Gomez, along with two cast members of Wizards of Waverly Place appeared in a television three-way cross-over episode with Hannah Montana and The Suite Life on Deck, entitled Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana. In February 2009, Gomez signed on to star as one of the two female leads in Ramona and Beezus, a film adaption of the children's novel series by Beverly Cleary. In March, 2010, Variety reported that Gomez was set to star as one of the three lead roles in Monte Carlo.
In 2008, Gomez recorded a cover of "Cruella de Vil" -which included a music video for – for the compilation album DisneyMania 6. Gomez recorded three songs for the Another Cinderella Story soundtrack, which Gomez appears in. Gomez also recorded "Fly to Your Heart" for the 2008 animated film Tinker Bell. In July 2008 – before Gomez' sixteenth birthday, she signed a recording deal with Hollywood Records, a music label owned by Disney. In 2009, Gomez recorded "One and the Same" for Princess Protection Program as a duet with Lovato – they both appear in the film. Gomez recorded four songs, one of which was a cover, for the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack, only one single (Magic) from the album was released. In May, of the same year, Gomez was featured – with Forever the Sickest Kids, on a duet version of the non-album song "Whoa Oh!".
Selena Gomez & the Scene
Formed in 2009, Selena Gomez & the Scene (aka Selena & The Scene) is a teen pop band which consists of Selena Gomez on vocals, Ethan Roberts on guitar, Joey Clement on bass, Greg Garman on drums and Dane Forrest on keyboards. Kiss & Tell is the band's debut studio album and was released on September 29, 2009 by Hollywood Records. On March 5, 2010, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. The album's single, "Naturally", was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 15, 2010. The band's second album A Year Without Rain was released on September 17, 2010. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 4, selling 66,000 copies.