Then-Disney star Demi Lovato showed off a surprising side of her music taste during a 2008 appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: her love for metal. Joined by Fallon, Lovato channeled that love into a raucous headbanging version of the theme song for Barney, the show where she got her start in the entertainment business.
Performing into a MacBook webcam similar to the way Lovato and friend Selena Gomez would film their YouTube vlogs during that time, the singer and the host spritzed their throats before Fallon suggested doing the metal version of the Barney theme. The Roots assisted the heavy, scream-filled cover.
The “Cool for the Summer” singer kicked off her career with her role on Barney for two seasons. From the age of 10 through 12, she starred alongside Gomez on the PBS Kids series. Both Lovato and Gomez joined the Disney family a few years later, with Lovato starring in the movie Camp Rock and releasing her debut album Don’t Forget in 2008.
A month after headbanging with Fallon, Lovato dove deeper into her love for the genre when she was interviewed for the Jonas Brothers’ Rolling Stone cover story. “I had an ex-boyfriend who was a total metalhead,” the 15-year-old explained before citing Job for a Cowboy and Dimmu Borgir as her favorite heavy bands.
“I don’t want kids to listen to Job for a Cowboy,” she continued. “But there is a certain uniqueness to metal music. When someone comes over to a mic and screams – I can’t do that. I listen to pop music, and I’m like, ‘OK, I get it’ – that doesn’t fascinate me. What fascinates me is metal.”
In an interview with MTV, Lovato detailed how MySpace helped her explore the metal genre. She cited Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Abigail Williams, Lamb of God and the Devil Wears Prada as other bands she enjoyed.