Demi Lovato was worried that shifting away from the stereotypes of a sexy pop songstress would derail their career.

Lovato opened up to professional boxer Patricio Manuel on the former’s “4D With Demi Lovato” podcast. Manuel is the first-ever transgender boxer to fight professionally in the U.S. – a feat he achieved back in 2018.

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“I was so afraid at times of what my career would look like if I wasn’t that super sexy hyper-feminine pop star,” Lovato told Manuel on Wednesday. “My career doesn’t matter as much to me now as it does living my truth.”

“I know what it’s like to have your dream feel like it can hold you back, but it’s quite the opposite,” they continued. “Now that I am living my truth, my art has just become that much greater because my art is a reflection of who I am,” they said. “So now that I’m able to be more transparent with the world in who I am, they can see my art better, and they hear it better.”

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Part of Lovato’s image change was a variety of new hairstyles, including their blonde half-buzzed cut and hot pink makeover. The Dancing with the Devil artist came out as non-binary on May 19.

“This has come after a lot of healing [and] self-reflective work. I’m still learning [and] coming into myself; I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson,” they wrote on Twitter. “Sharing this with you now opens another level of vulnerability for me.”