Selena Gomez, in full Selena Marie Gomez, (born July 22, 1992, Grand Prairie, Texas, U.S.), American actress and singer who won legions of young fans as the winsome star of the Disney television series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007–12) and as a pop vocalist.
Gomez, who was named after the popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, was raised in suburban Dallas. Inspired by her mother, an amateur actress, Gomez tried out for a role on the PBS children’s television series Barney & Friends and, as a result, appeared regularly on the program in 2002–04. After making her big-screen debut in the family movie Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003), she auditioned for the Disney Channel, which eventually led to a guest spot on the TV series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. In 2007 Gomez was cast as Alex Russo, a mischievous tomboy with magical powers, on a new Disney sitcom, Wizards of Waverly Place. The show, for which she also sang the theme song, became an instant hit among the preteen set, and she earned favourable comparisons to the channel’s leading ingenue, Miley Cyrus.