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Demi Lovato hasn’t always been a shiny, happy Disney star.

The singer, whose new album comes out on September 23, told MTV News that she used to write depressing tunes.

“I used to write [really dark] songs every night in my room – like, five or six a night – and I’d be up until 5 in the morning,” the singer said. “[Mom] would come up and say, ‘So what are you writing?’ I’d play her a song, and she’d go, ‘Wow – go to therapy.’ But it really is therapy for me.” 

Demi Lovato Is Sober

Now, Lovato is on the verge of stardom. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t dream of singing alongside more established singer.

“I hope to do a collaboration with Kelly Clarkson,” she said. “[She] has been my idol growing up. [That] would be the biggest dream come true.”