How Selena Gomez Landed on Top After a Roller Coaster Year

Fetish singer has gone through many ups and downs, but has come out stronger than ever

By Jennifer Cullen Jul 22, 2018 10:00 AMTags
ESC: Best Dressed, Selena GomezPhillip Faraone/WireImage

Selena Gomez is used to having a crazy life.

Since she made her debut on Wizards of Waverly Place in 2007, she has been one of the most famous people in the world.

In fact, she has been forced to live through all of her ups and down with millions watching. This year was no exception.

In the past 12 months alone, she's undergone a major operation, released new music and movies, undergone a breakup—and all while being subject to intense media scrutiny.

As Selena celebrates her 26th birthday today, we're taking some time to reflect on the highlights of her past year with a month-by-month timeline of her biggest moments. Through it all, she's become stronger than ever. And yes, her fans have never loved her more. 

Selena Gomez's Best Looks

July 2017: During her birth month, Selena released her latest single called "Fetish." Alongside the song was a sexy video focusing on her lips. The official music video, directed by close friend Petra Collins, was released later in the month. The song peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100.

For her 25th birthday, Selena had a low-key celebration with some of her closest friends and shared the event to her Instagram. Although then-boyfriend The Weeknd was on tour in Paris on her special day, he reportedly flew in to celebrate with her.

August 2017: August was a low-key month for Selena. She wasn't spotted in public very often, except for an adorable Disneyland date with her man. The couple seemed very loved up and weren't afraid to show some PDA at the amusement park.

September 2017: September came with a big revelation: Selena revealed that she underwent a kidney transplant in the summer due to her lupus. In a viral Instagram post, Selena wrote that "I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you." She also thanked her kidney donor Francia Raisa by writing, "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed."

After a tough few months, Selena jumped back into work, filming the Woody Allen film A Rainy Day In New York alongside Timothee Chalamet. The film was later subject to controversy due to allegations of sexual misconduct directed at Allen. He denies them. In response, Selena later stated that she would donate her salary to the Time's Up initiative.

Also, Selena was a cover star for Time magazine, celebrating her accomplishment as the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram.

October 2017: October brought attention to Selena's personal life as she went through a public breakup and makeup. In late October, it was reported that Justin Bieber was spotted leaving her Los Angeles home. Although we didn't jump to conclusions on the nature of their rekindled relationship, speculation grew when Selena announced her split from The Weeknd. Soon after, Justin and Selena began spending more time together.

Outside of her love life, her single with Marshmello "Wolves" was released and climbed up the charts. In addition, fans were elated when she reunited with old pal Demi Lovato at the InStyle Awards.

Selena Gomez's Best American Music Awards Looks
Vasquez-Max Lopes / BACKGRID

November 2017: Jelena started November with a bang. The pair was spotted on a bike ride through Los Angeles, doing little to deny romance rumors. The couple began spending more time together, ultimately confirming speculation with a kiss at Justin's hockey game.

Alongside her new romance, Selena sported a new look, dyeing her famous dark locks platinum blonde for her performance at the AMA Awards.

December 2017: Finishing the year off right! Selena was awarded Billboard's Woman of the Year and gave an informative interview where she talked about her struggles with mental health, her kidney transplant and her relationships.

Selena topped off 2017 in Cabo San Lucas with friends, with Justin joining her to ring in the new year.

January 2018: Selena started 2018 with a breather. She traveled to her home state of Texas and visited her childhood home. She reflected on what may have been writing, "I visit this place every chance I get. In many ways it very well could have been better than my life today, but I'm grateful for a voice that can enable change today. Even when I don't know how to do it well or actually want it. I love you Grand Prairie. Thank you."

Continuing her month of reflection, she entered a two-week program for anxiety and depression.

February 2018: A month of public love for Selena and Justin! The couple seemed to be going strong as they traveled together, made out at a concert and attended his dad's wedding in Jamaica.

March 2018: On the first day of the month, Selena posted her first Instagram of Justin in over five years. She rang in his 24th birthday with a picture of her and a Polaroid writing, "March 1, 1994 someone I know that happens to be super cool was born. Boom."

Just days after her post, it was reported that the couple was taking a break from their romance. Selena traveled to Australia for a Hillsong Conference solo. In addition, her break-up with The Weeknd was revisited with the release of his new album, that many speculated was about Selena.

April 2018: April was a month of activism for Selena. She shared her support for the March For Our Lives movement by posting to her Instagram and attending a rally. In addition, she attended her 6th WE Day in Los Angeles, giving a speech to raise awareness for kidney diseases.

Selena Gomez's Best Coach Looks
Marion Curtis/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

May 2018: Selena was back in the spotlight during her most public month yet! She started out the month by attending the MET Gala, where she later laughed off criticism of her look.

Selena had professional wins when the second season of 13 Reasons Why, the show in which she produces, was released on Netflix. Her song, "Back To You," on the show's soundtrack, became a breakout hit.

The singer also surprised fans on the reputation tour with close friend Taylor Swift. The friends performed "Hands To Myself" to a crowd of 60,000 in Los Angeles.

June 2018: Selena collaborated with Petra Collins again to release the music video for "Back To You." The video showed an on and off again couple, causing fans to speculate that it may be based on her relationship with Justin.

The most rewarding part of her month came when Selena adorably attended the prom for The Children's Hospital of Orange County, where she posed for pictures with fans.

July 2018: Selena celebrated the 4th of July holiday with Wizards of Waverly Place co-star David Henrie, posting adorable shots on Instagram and writing, "Hope everyone had a great 4th of July! Spent mine with some of my favorite people."

The release of Hotel Transylvania 3 was a huge success, as it topped the box office.

Perhaps the most shocking thing to happen in the month was Justin's engagement to Hailey Baldwin. However, Selena seemed to be unbothered by the news as she has been spotted happily spending time with friends and filming a new film in upstate New York.

It is yet to be seen how the star will ring in her 26th birthday, but after this crazy year, she definitely deserves a celebration.