Demi Lovato received a standing ovation from the crowd following her performance
Standing alongside a piano in a white gown, Lovato, 27, softly sang the first few lyrics before becoming so overwhelmed with emotion that she had to start over.
Lovato then tried again, passionately belting her way through the track.
“Anyone, please send me anyone/Lord, is there anyone? / I need someone,” Lovato crooned. “I used to crave the world’s attention / I think I cried too many times / I just need some more affection / Anything to get me by.”
The moving performance ended with a standing ovation from the audience.
Lovato first revealed the song — which was written and recorded before she overdosed at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, in July 2018 — in an interview with Zane Low on New Music Daily for Apple Music’s Beats 1 last week.
“I almost listen back and hear these lyrics as a cry for help,” Lovato said in a preview that premiered on Friday’s Good Morning America. “And you kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, ‘How did nobody listen to this song and think, Let’s help this girl?'”
“I was recording it in a state of mind where I felt I was okay, but clearly I wasn’t,” Lovato added. “I even listen back to it and I’m like, ‘Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.'”
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The “Confident” singer’s performance marks the first time she has hit the stage since suffering an overdose in July 2018 — just a month after releasing her last single, “Sober.” Since leaving rehab in November 2018, the star has kept her fans updated on her journey being sober.
Though Lovato wasn’t up for any awards this year, the “Solo” singer has been nominated twice before. Her album Confident was up for best pop vocal album in 2017 and her collaboration with Christina Aguilera, “Fall in Line” was up for best pop duo/group performance last year.
“I grew up in Texas, singing to @xtina everyday, DESPERATELY trying to hit her high notes,” she wrote on Twitter following the nomination in 2018. “If you would’ve told me I’d have a Grammy nod with her I would’ve laughed in your face!! This is so surreal.”
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It was recently announced that following the Grammys, Lovato will be taking center field at the 2020 Super Bowl on Feb. 2, where she will sing the National Anthem ahead of the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs face-off and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira‘s highly anticipated Super Bowl halftime show.
“See you in Miami,” she captioned the big announcement on Instagram.
Lovato has recently hinted that new music is on the way. In November, she shared a video alongside producer Warren “Oak” Felder in the studio.
“Wouldn’t yall like to hear … ” Lovato captioned a soundless video of Felder. (The producer worked on five tracks off of Tell Me You Love Me, including “Sorry Not Sorry.”
“Recording a song for my loyal #Lovatics — the ones who support me and whatever makes me happy,” the singer also wrote on a photo of a microphone from inside the studio, adding, “If you hating — that ain’t you. BYE.”
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In November, Lovato spoke openly about addiction and recovery at the Teen Vogue Summit in Los Angeles, revealing that she now feels stronger than ever.
“What I see in the mirror [is] someone that’s overcome a lot. I’ve been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter,” she said at the time. “I don’t see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown in their way.”
She later added, “I wouldn’t change the direction of my life for anything. … I would never regret anything. I love the person that I am today.”
The 62nd Grammy Awards are airing live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.