Fans think Demi's song is about her relationship with the 'That '70s Show' actor, whom she started dated when she was 17 and he was 29.
Demi Lovato has been teasing her upcoming album HOLY FVCK for quite some time. On Wednesday, the singer released her latest single “29,” which many fans believe is about her relationship with That ‘70s Show Wilmer Valderrama, whom she started dating when she was 17.
Lovato’s single “29” doesn’t sugarcoat her thoughts on men who court younger women. The first verse alludes to when she first met Valderrama, although the star is not mentioned by name.
“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,” she sings.
The two met when Lovato was 17 and Valderrama was 29. Lovato admitted to having a crush on the actor, but until she turned 18 he was somehow magically not attracted to her. One Lovato got older (see: turned 18), Valderrama had a change of heart.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god. You’re so attractive.’ And he was like, ‘You are not 18. Get away from me,’” she told Complex in 2015. “Then we became really good friends, and he was there for me through a number of situations and breakups and whatever. Then as I got older and we grew closer, it was like, ‘Hey, maybe we should try this thing out.'”
The two dated on and off for six years before officially calling it quits in 2016.
After turning 29 herself, Lovato, who goes by she/her/they/them pronouns, was able to look back at the relationship with the grown man 12 years their senior when she was a teenager and see it from a different perspective.
"When I turned 29, I remember I was on vacation and I just realized I'm 29 now, and it put things into perspective. It put everything into perspective," Lovato said in an interview with Apple Music. "And 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, 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 the emotion that was put into this song."
Now hearing the full track, it is clear that Lovato is talking about Valderrama. “Finally 29 / 17 would never cross my mind / Thought it was a teenage dream, a fantasy / But it was yours it wasn’t mine.”
Even before Lovato officially released the track, fans were talking about its lyrical content. The singer shared a snippet of the bop on TikTok at the beginning of August, and it quickly went viral. Some TikTok users even sampled the clip and put it to photos of Valderrama’s other previous romantic relationships he had with teenagers; he dated actresses Mandy Moore and Lindsay Lohan when they were both teenagers and he was in his 20s.
Now, at 42, the actor is engaged to a model who is 12 years younger than he is.
Lovato commented on this trend too with their final verse, “I see you’re quite the collector / Yeah, you’re 12 years her elder / Maybe now it doesn’t matter / But I know f*cking better”
Previously, Lovato has had nothing but good things to say about Valderrama. But with age and time come wisdom and perspective. The That ‘70s Show actor has yet to comment on the song.
Lovato’s entire album HOLY FVCK is set to drop August 19, 2022.