Demi Lovato: I was suicidal at age 7, and Barney saved my life

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Demi Lovato hasn't kept her past suicidal feelings a secret. She went to rehab and came out the stronger for it, and now is continuing to open up about just how young she was when she first had thoughts of wanting to kill herself -- and the surprising figure who helped her cope with them.

When Lovato was 7 years old, she had her first gig singing the theme song on "Barney & Friends." She admits to Cosmopolitan magazine that Barney helped her deal with her issues, like he has so many other children.

"At the time, I was just so grateful to be on TV, but I was also really struggling. Looking back, there was a connection, probably between any kid who's ever sang that song to Barney, a little place in a child's heart, a void, that could be filled. And maybe Barney fills it," she says. "Even before Barney, I was suicidal. I was 7."

Lovato continues, "With Barney, I guess subliminally, I did have a relationship with this figure that was saving my life in a way. ... I've talked about being bullied and the years of being a teenager, but I went through things when I was younger that I've never talked about that probably caused me to turn out the way I ended up turning out."

It seems as though Lovato hinted at that stuff she "never talked about" during her song "Warrior." In the single she sings, "There's a part of me I can't get back/ A little girl grew up too fast/ All it took was once, I'll never be the same/ Now I'm taking back my life today."

"My family knows what it's about," Lovato tells Cosmo. "When I'm ready to open up that subject with the outside world, then I'll be free to talk about it. But right now, it's kind of one of those things where the lyrics speak for me. It's all in the song."

Though this interview with Cosmo was conducted a while ago, Lovato's comments strike especially true because of the sad events she is going through now. Her estranged father passed away recently, and she tweets that going to his funeral was the "hardest thing I've ever done."

"Today I put my Daddy to rest.... hardest thing I've ever done.. But I know great things will come of this... #LovatoTreatmentScholarship," Lovato tweets of his June 29 funeral. "There's an overwhelming sense of peace knowing my dad is no longer battling his demons anymore and that makes me so happy..."

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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