Demi Lovato’s Heartfelt New Tribute is, Well, Unforgettable
Few folks have navigated their recovery journey with the indefatigable candor of Demi Lovato. From exiting the 2010 Jonas Brothers: Live in Concert Tour in order to receive inpatient addiction treatment and the subsequent year-long sober home stint, to coming up poignantly “Sober” after 2018’s media-saturating relapse, Lovato has always been consistently courageous in confronting their struggles. So it’s no surprise the “Unforgettable” endeavor continues that candid tradition.
And oh, what a resoundingly delightful endeavor it is too — for her fans, as well as for the recovery movement. See, “Unforgettable” isn’t simply a terrific song (though it is that). It isn’t even simply a terrific tribute song (though it is that too). It’s a terrific tribute song that turns the heart-stirring remembrance of a dear, departed friend into a wholehearted celebration of life, as well as lives. That’s right, “Unforgettable” celebrates a multitude of lives. And in so doing it ensures the memory of that dear friend gets voice enough to linger on.
How? By contributing its voice to The Voices Project, that ever more vocal grassroots recovery advocacy organization. Yep, you read correctly. “Unforgettable”‘s net proceeds will go directly to the great good folks at The Voices Project. That means the object of Lovato’s affection has a chance to be remembered by those who both listen up and speak out. Considering The Voices Project gives voice to an ever-growing coast-to-coast chorus, that’s one helluva tribute.
“Unforgettable (Tommy’s Song)” was written, recorded and dedicated to Lovato’s late friend, Thomas Trussell III, who died in 2019 after a battle with addiction. Lovato shared some backstory upon the song’s release.
“Two years ago I lost someone who meant so much to me,” Lovato wrote socially. “His name was Tommy and he was such a beautiful, special man.” Lovato added that the track was written “the day after I found out that he had lost his battle with addiction.”
But it was an Instagram Story entry which truly signaled Lovato’s pain — and her plea:
“Devastated” ran the caption. “Please hold your loved ones tight. Tell them they are special and that you love them. Make sure they know it.”
At the end of the day, of course, it doesn’t matter how tight you hold someone or how many times you tell them they’re special and loved, that loss is still going to come, and it’s still going to knock the wind from you. “Unforgettable” is where that inevitable comes in — and how it leaves you.
Unlike 2018’s “Sober” however, this latest ballad is less lament and more tribute. It’s as if Lovato would rather channel the sorrow into something more akin to a celebration of life. Oh, the song still stirs the heart, as well as the soul. Yet it does so without smothering itself in what would’ve been entirely justifiable sadness.
In other words: Yes, Tommy died way too soon. And it hurts. But while he lived, boy did the boy live!
So let’s remember that too.
Aligning with The Voices Project
It’s incredibly easy to see why Lovato would back The Voices Project — the singer’s beliefs and principles seem to be acutely aligned with those held by organization founders Ryan Hampton and Garrett Hade. For instance, both Hampton and Hade are, like Lovato, arch opponents of silence. In fact, the Project’s Mission + History Page attests to the fact the pair found “the things people weren’t talking about were even more lethal than the things they were.” And though Lovato keenly leaves it to experts Hampton and Hade to “[call] out the groups that benefit from keeping people sick, [as well as to declaim] the gross injustices that are done to sick people in the name of ‘morality,'” her songs (and her endeavors) join the pair in “push[ing] back against the narrative that people in recovery [are] doomed, dirty, and worthless.”
Mostly though, there’s the trio’s resounding commitment to unmitigated honesty. Like the Project, the singer “tells the truth about recovery and the people it affects.” That both The Voices Project and Demi Lovato are now united behind the candor they exemplify can be nothing but beneficial — for everyone.
Tribute to Lovato
Healing Properties has long esteemed Demi Lovato, so have our colleagues at both Recovery Boot Camp and the Schnellenberger Family Foundation. SFF got the tributes rolling when it praised the song “Sober” back in 2018. RBC followed suit with “Relapse Doesn’t Have to Mean an End to Recovery” to address that same year’s harrowing overdose, then again with “Near Death: Experiencing the Lovato Doc” this past June. HP, in turn, delivered Lovato-laced pieces on the California Sober trend (“California vs Florida: Which Sober Are You?”), as well as investigations into both naloxone (“Narcan in Every Pocket”) and sober celebrities (“What Can We Learn From Sober Celebrities?”). Through it all we found Lovato to be candid, as well as courageous. We also found them to be a helluva lot more level-headed than most folks acknowledge. (And certainly more level-headed than most of the folks who are not doing any acknowledging). In fact, we doubt damn few, if any, of Lovato’s naysayers could handle such weighty affairs with even a fraction of the same grace.
All of which is to say that Demi Lovato has once again risen to the occasion, and then transcended it. “Unforgettable” is indeed an unforgettable endeavor. And a damn beautiful song to boot. Yes, the track is a tribute to a dear, departed friend. Yes, it’s also a tribute to the great, good folks at The Voices Project. In the end though, it’s rock solid evidence of Lovato’s own great, good character.