Happy birthday, Selena Gomez! The former Disney kid is just turning 23 Wednesday, but she has accomplished quite a bit since her breakthrough onto the Hollywood scene. It's hard to believe that it's been seven years of fame for the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star, who had a taste of show business even before her Disney days. To celebrate Gomez's  birthday, here's a look back at  highlights from her years growing up in front of the camera.

1992: Born in Texas, Gomez was named after the popular American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, who was fatally shot at 23. Her mother was 16 when she was born and divorced her father when Gomez was 5. The Disney star has said in interviews that her mother struggled financially to take care of her.

GettyImages-74198056 Actress Selena Gomez attended the premiere of Walt Disney's 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End' held at Disneyland, May 19, 2007, in Anaheim, California. Photo: GETTY IMAGES


2002: Gomez landed a part in the then-popular children's show "Barney and Friends," for which she filmed 14 episodes before the producers decided she was too old for the series. The show was Gomez's first television gig, and she has said, "I learned everything from Barney."


While filming, she met actress and singer Demi Lovato, who is also from Texas, and the two forged a close friendship.

82171686 Actress Selena Gomez and singer Demi Lovato were pictured during the 2008 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater, Aug. 3, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

2006: Gomez made her debut on the Disney Channel with a cameo in the show "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse.

2007: A reccurring role on the Disney show "Hannah Montana" led to Gomez being cast as the lead in a new show, "The Wizards of Waverly Place," also on the channel. The new gig prompted Gomez and her mother to relocate from Texas to Hollywood. 

RTR1RUNH Selena Gomez answered questions with castmate David Henrie in 2007 during a panel for the Disney Channel series "Wizards of Waverly Place" before its debut. Photo: REUTERS

2008: Media began to compare Gomez to fellow Disney starlet Miley Cyrus and reported that there was bad blood between them. In March 2008, a video surfaced of Cyrus and friend Mandy Jiroux mocking Gomez and Lovato on YouTube, but Cyrus denied any feud.

Rumors floated that Gomez was dating Hannah Montana's ex-boyfriend, another Disney actor, Nick Jonas, who was part of the Jonas Brothers band. Gomez later appeared in a Jonas Brothers music video.

79998633 From left: Actor David Henry, actress Selena Gomez, actress Chelsea Staub, musician Kevin Jonas, musician Joe Jonas and musician Nick Jonas arrive at Chevy Rocks The Future at the Buena Vista Lot at The Walt Disney Studios, Feb. 19, 2008, in Burbank, California. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

That year, Gomez was cast in a made-for-television movie as Mary Santiago in "Another Cinderella Story," which premiered on ABC Family channel.

 2009: In August, Gomez crossed over into music with her pop-rock album "Kiss & Tell." Things also heated up with "Twilight" actor Taylor Lautner, but the pair broke up after a few months, and Gomez went back to Jonas. 

GettyImages-122748247 Actors Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner spoke during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, Aug. 28, 2011, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: GETTY IMAGEs

2010: Longtime friends Lovato and Gomez were rumored to be feuding now that Gomez had gotten closer to singer Taylor Swift. In an interview with Girls' Life magazine, Lovato spoke out about the feud, saying: “We’re both busy, and I wish the best for her. True friends don’t let their friends or family be mean to you. If you can’t trust somebody, you can’t be friends with them.”

2011: Gomez attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party in January with singer Justin Bieber as her date, confirming months of speculation that the two were dating. The two were spotted kissing while on a Caribbean vacation in St. Lucia. 

In September, Bieber rented out the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a special date, placing candles on a table for two in the center of the court, where they enjoyed a romantic dinner.

bieber gomez Gomez and Justin Bieber arrived at the 2011 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, Nov. 20, 2011, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

2012: The final episode of "Wizards of Waverly Place" aired in January. Gomez announced that she planned to focus on the big screen and begin production on the movie "Spring Breakers," which also starred James Franco. “We’re going to take a break from music,” Gomez told E! News. “My band and I are going to chill on that for a second. I’ll be doing two films in the beginning of [2012], which I’m excited about. They are both different and things I’ve never played before."

After two years of dating, Gomez and Bieber called it quits in late 2012 after a video showed Bieber ogling models backstage at the Victoria's Secret fashion show.

2013: Gomez reconciled with Bieber, just two months after telling television host David Letterman in March, "I'm single. I'm so good." But their second take didn't last long, and the pair broke up again, only to remain on-and-off over the next few months. Justin attended Gomez's 21st birthday celebrations in July, but the two were not spotted together again for the rest of the year.

Gomez and former friend Lovato made amends that year. "I think we realized that life is so short and that when you have people in your life that love you so much, you should just always be around them," Lovato told MTV News.

2014: Gomez's reps confirmed that she spent two weeks in rehab in January but denied that the treatment was for substance abuse.

In July, rumors swirled that Lovato and Gomez are on the outs again after being friends for more than 10 years. Lovato confirmed the two were at odds while on "Watch What Happens Live" in August, saying, "“I think it’s just one of those things where people change and grow apart.”

464236486 Producer/DJ Zedd (second from left) attended the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party with Gomez at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 22, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

2015: After collaborating on the hit song "I Want You To Know" with the German DJ Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zavslaski , the two began dating for the earlier part of the year. But according to reports, their fling was over by April.


Your girl is almost 23!! #gettinexcited #8days #whyamihuggingtheseatbelt #? ❤️

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