Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress and singer-songwriter best known for her portrayal of Alex Russo on the Emmy Award winning Disney Channel Original Series, Wizards of Waverly Place. She has starred in the television movies, Another Cinderella Story and Princess Protection Program. In 2010, Gomez made her theatrical film debut as Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby in Ramona and Beezus.
Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas to Ricardo Gomez and Mandy Teefey (née Cornett), a former stage actress. Gomez is of Mexican descent on her father’s side, and half Italian on her mother’s. Her birth parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was raised as an only child by her working mother. In 2006, her mother remarried Brian Teefey. She is named after Tejano singer Selena.
Before Disney, she had one of the kid roles on Barney & Friends. In 2008, she signed a record deal with Hollywood Records and contributed to the Tinker Bell, Another Cinderella Story and Wizards of Waverly Place soundtracks. Her band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, released their debut studio album Kiss & Tell on September 29, 2009, which was certified Gold by RIAA on March 5, 2010. The album’s single, Naturally, was certified Platinum by RIAA on July 15, 2010.