The music video for Demi Lovato’s new single, “Dancing With The Devil,” starts with a content warning advising viewers that its depiction of “drug use, trauma, and sexual abuse…may be triggering for some.” In the video, which was released at midnight on April 2, 2021, Lovato sings from a hospital bed about her 2018 overdose. Returning again and again to the hospital bed, the video also shows the events leading up to her overdose, and its immediate aftermath. In one vignette, Lovato drinks wine at a bar and texts her dealer; in another scene, her dealer leaves her bedroom, and her assistant then discovers her unconscious.
Lovato recently cut her hair into a short pixie, but in the video she wears a long blond wig, similar to her look at the time of the incident. The lyrics also speak to her mentality in the moment. In the first verse, she sings of wanting to let loose after working hard: “It’s just a little red wine, I’ll be fine/Not like I wanna do this every night/I’ve been good, don’t I deserve it?/I think I earned it, feels like it’s worth it.”
By the bridge, though, she admits she’s lost control. Like many who struggle with addiction, Lovato was attempting to stay on top of an issue that ultimately had power over her: “Thought I knew my limit, yeah/I thought that I could quit it, yeah/I thought that I could walk away easily/But here I am, falling down on my knees/Praying for better days to come and wash this pain away/Could you please forgive me?/Lord, I’m sorry for dancing with the devil.”
By the end, which a title card notes is “a true story by Demi Lovato,” the star is thankfully able to walk away, still a survivor. In her March cover story with Glamour, Lovato opened up about the medical side effects of her overdose, which include blind spots in her vision and hearing loss. “I’m the type of person that when you take something out of my life, something else just becomes more beautiful,” she said. “I think that when the universe shuts one door, it opens another or there’s a window to open. It just depends on your perspective and how you choose to look at it.”
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