LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Demi Lovato is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on July 14, 2022 in Los Angele...
RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images


Demi Lovato's "29" Skewers Age Gap With Ex Wilder Valderrama

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of anxiety about putting out this song,” Lovato said about the new track.

Demi Lovato’s new song “29” is here and it seems to include a not-so-subtle reference to her ex, Wilmer Valderrama. The scathing track dissects an inappropriate relationship between a 17 and 29-year-old, which were Lovato and Valderrama’s ages when they first met.

Lovato and Valderrama dated for six years, after co-starring in a commercial for Voto Latino. In 2015 the singer revealed that Valderrama did not want to be romantically involved until Lovato was 18. Back then it seemed like Lovato was comfortable with their age difference, but now that the singer is 29 as well, she’s reflecting on their time together with a new perspective.

In the track, she sings, “Petal on the vine, too young to drink wine / Just five years a bleeder, student and a teacher / Far from innocent, what the f*ck’s consent? / Numbers told you not to, but that didn't stop you.”

Lovato has not confirmed exactly who the song is about, but the chorus is even more damning. “Finally twenty-nine,” she sings. “Funny, just like you were at the time / Thought it was a teenage dream, just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine? / Seventeen, twenty-nine.”

In an interview with Zane Lowe from Apple Music, Lovato explained that turning 29 last August “put everything into perspective.” When asked about the song she said, “I’m very careful with the way that I answer these questions, because I feel like the song says it all.”

“I don’t have to say too much, to be honest,” she continued. “But turning 29 was a huge eye opener for me. And then, going into treatment and having realizations led to my transformation, my release of that emotion that was put into this song.”

The second verse of “29” provides that release, with a final dismissal of her ex’s behavior. “Had me in your grip, went beautifully with / All my daddy issues and this shit continues,” she sings, before pointing out his new, similarly inappropriate relationship. “Yeah, you’re twelve years her elder / Maybe now it doesn’t matter / But I know f*cking better.”

Now that the song is out and available to stream, fans of Lovato have been picking through its lyrics. During her interview with Lowe, the singer said she was nervous to release “29,” but is ultimately glad that she did. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of anxiety about putting out this song,” she said. “I just said, ‘I have to go for this. I have to own my truth.’

“And I do still walk that line very finely,” she continued. “I’ve learned that sometimes saying less is more. And it’s taken me to 30 years old to maybe learn that, but here I am approaching the way that I express myself differently in front of the media because it’s okay to have boundaries.”

“29” is the first single from Lovato’s upcoming album HOLY FVK, which will be released on August 29th via Island Records.