Demi Lovato has shared a new song, ’29’, in which the singer-songwriter appears to reflect on the age gap in the relationship between them and That ’70s Show actor Wilder Valderrama, who Lovato dated between 2010 and 2016.
“Just five years a bleeder / Student and a teacher / Far from innocent / What the fuck’s consent? / Numbers told you not to / But that didn’t stop you,” Lovato sings on the new song, the third single from her forthcoming album ‘Holy Fvck’.
“Finally 29 / Funny, just like you were at the time / Thought it was a teenage dream, just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine? / 17 / 29,” the singer continues on the song.
Though Lovato doesn’t expressly name Valderrama, and has not confirmed that that’s who the song is about, there was a 12-year-age gap between the couple when they started dating in 2010 – when Lovato was 18, and Valderrama was 29.
Elsewhere in the song, Lovato appears to reference the age gap between Valderrama and his current partner, Amanda Pachecho, who is 12 years younger than him, singing: “I see you’re quite the collector / Yeah you’re twelve years her elder / Maybe now it doesn’t matter / But I know fucking better.”
Discussing the new single while speaking to Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, Lovato said that recently turning 29 – the age Valderrama was when the pair started dating – was a “huge eye opener” that had “put things into perspective” for the singer.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of anxiety about putting out this song. I just said, ‘I have to go for this. I have to own my truth,'” Lovato added. “I’ve learned that sometimes saying less is more. And it’s taken me to 30 years old to maybe learn that, but here I am approaching the way that I express myself differently in front of the media because it’s okay to have boundaries.”
A teaser Lovato posted of the song prior to its arrival gained popularity on TikTok, where people on the platform, mostly women, have used its audio to soundtrack posts where they discuss being in relationships with inappropriate age gaps when they were younger.
‘Holy Fvck’, Lovato’s eighth studio album, is set to arrive tomorrow (August 19). The singer announced the album in June shortly before releasing lead single ‘Skin of My Teeth’. Second single ‘Substance’ arrived last month, with Lovato performing the song while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live shortly after its release.