Selena Gomez released her critically acclaimed album, Rare, on Friday
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Selena Gomez refuses to apologize for speaking — and singing — her truth.

“I’ve said this before, but I used to be terrified of saying anything. I would find myself protecting people that never protected me or cared for me,” the singer, who released her new album Rare on Friday, tells Billboard in a new interview.

“I wouldn’t want to say the wrong thing, and I wouldn’t want people to think that I had any other motive, other than just being a kind person — though that is who I am and I am proud of that. I was just done, you know?” she continues. “Just done being silent, and I felt like I deserved to have a moment for myself, after going through so much, and throwing that all into this album.”

In its second week of release, Gomez’s vulnerable ballad, “Lose You to Love Me,” became her first song to hit No. 1 on the charts.

Selena Gomez attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' "Dolittle" at Regency Village Theatre on January 11, 2020 in Westwood, California.
Selena Gomez
| Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Seemingly inspired by her on-and-off relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, the track was an emotional breakthrough for Gomez.

“When I wrote the song ‘Lose You to Love Me,’ I was kind of a mess. It was really difficult for me,” says the star, who previously revealed she co-wrote the hit in early 2019. “And by the time we shot the music video at the end of the year, it had a completely different meaning, and it was so freeing.”

Another standout track that fans have been embracing is the quietly empowering “Vulnerable,” a song that sees Gomez, 27, wondering if a potential lover will handle her heart with care.

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez
| Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

“I turned bitter for a while. I was extremely bitter and very dry. I was just disconnected to my feelings for so long,” she told Billboard about the song. “But I go to therapy … I felt like, ‘Why do I do this? Why do I give myself away to people, even if it’s just friends or random people? Why do I do that?’ And I realized it is because one of my strengths, that I thought was a weakness, is being vulnerable.”

And now with some of her most difficult days yet behind her, the entertainer says she’s looking squarely ahead to her future.

“I have all these different goals, and I feel like I’m in the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life, and I say that with such conviction,” she says. “So I think that the possibilities are endless.”