Till, oh, 13 minutes ago I'd never heard the name Demi Lovato -- which, admittedly, is a little surprising, as the TV in our house does occasionally find itself tuned to the Disney Channel, courtesy a remote-control-savvy 4-year-old with whom we share the space. Regardless, the 15-year-old daughter of former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Dianna Lovato is about to become a household name -- or, barring that, a brand name, courtesy the fine folks at the Walt Disney Co. who've dedicated themselves to elevating the former Barney & Friends actor to Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers status with what appears to be a rather complete star-making formula laid out moments ago on Forbes' Web site courtesy Disney Channel's entertainment chief, Gary Marsh.
The Dallas-born Lovato was discovered at an open casting call here and currently appears on something called As the Bell Rings -- which sounds like a cross between one of my mom's soaps and something starring Screech. But she's soon to be everywhere, writes Forbes' Lacey Rose:
Next, she'll star opposite the hugely popular Jonas Brothers in Camp Rock, a High School Musical-esque Disney Channel movie premiering in June. Then she hits the road for a concert tour with the band this summer. That's followed by another Disney Channel movie called Princess Protection Program, co-starring fellow network star Selena Gomez. And, oh yeah, she just signed with Hollywood Records -- a Disney record label, of course - -and hopes to release a debut album this fall.
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So, yeah, Demi Lovato. So noted. --Robert Wilonsky