Before releasing her debut album in 2009, Selena Gomez began her career as a child actress. Born in 1992, she grew up in Texas and got her first break as a cast member on the kids TV show Barney and Friends. Gomez landed minor roles in several other TV programs, but it was her affiliation with the Disney Channel -- who discovered her during a nationwide talent search in 2004 -- that officially jump-started her acting career. Guest appearances on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Hannah Montana paved the way for Gomez's own show,The Wizards of Waverly Place, which premiered in October 2007 and quickly became one of the network's most popular programs. Dubbed "the next Miley Cyrus," Gomez began juggling her commitment to The Wizards of Waverly Place with additional projects, including movie roles and a burgeoning singing career.