During an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Monday, the singer, 31, revealed the untold story behind her 2015 hit, “Cool for the Summer.”
“I was thinking about the hookups that I had had with a girl and decided to write this song,” Lovato told host Howard Stern, 69.
She said that the track was inspired by a relationship Lovato had with another famous woman — though she was coy with the details.
When Stern asked whether they would ever admit who the song was about — or whether they’d even tell the woman who inspired it — Lovato declined, citing her current relationship with fellow musician, Jutes.
“I’m in a relationship now and I feel like that would be inappropriate,” she said, which Stern agreed with. "I missed the moment. Should've said it back then."
However, Lovato did clarify that the famous woman the song is about is unaware of her role in the hit. They also confirmed that the relationship was "never public.
"Sometimes I write songs and I just leave them, let them be," she told the curious host.
Lovato did admit, though, that when she was putting the song out eight years ago, she “wasn’t afraid” of it affecting her career.
“It was more so like coming to terms with it myself — I didn’t actually come out as bisexual until I was 24 or 25,” they said, alluding to the track’s themes regarding her sexuality.
She added, “I think coming from a Christian household made me nervous for that.”
Despite her nerves, Lovato’s parents were more than supportive of her choices.
Her mom, Dianna De La Garza, said, “‘I just want you to be happy,’” Lovato recalled, while her stepfather had a slightly funnier response.
“When I came out, my dad was like, ‘Yeah, you have a song called ‘Cool for the Summer,’ like it’s obvious,’” Lovato told Stern, clarifying that she was referring to her stepfather, Eddie De La Garza.
Lovato’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Monday isn’t the first time she’s expanded on the meaning beind her 2015 single.
They've previously said that “Cool for the Summer” explores themes of bi-curiosity, but has always hesitated to say more.
In 2017, she told Pride Source, “I love who I love,” adding, “I think I’m gonna pass” when asked if she wanted to speak about her sexuality in relation to the song.
During her conversation with Stern, the “Skin of My Teeth” singer also revealed more about her relationship with her boyfriend Jutes (full name Jordan Lutes), whom she’s been dating since August 2022.
“We started off as friends, so we built that foundation of friendship first,” she said. “There’s like this partnership there that is just so magnetic, and the way that we laugh together it’s just nonstop. So, I think if you can find someone that makes you feel safe … that you’re so attracted to, that you laugh with constantly, that’s the formula of like a really great relationship.”
Of their instant attraction to the musician, Lovato recalled, “He came in to write on one of my sessions and I was in the studio and was, like, immediately attracted to him. I texted my friends on the side and was like, ‘He’s so hot.’”
Lovato also told Stern that her days of dating older men are long gone.
"I think what i went through was I had a phase of dating older men and dating older guys because of my daddy issues, obviously. Now I'm at a place where I'm in an amazing relationship. My boyfriend is a year older than me, and we're growing together and it feels so healthy."
She added, "I can say with confidence that my daddy issues aren't anything that are inside of me anymore."