updated 09/14/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/14/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
Yes, in the shadow of Britney, it’s easy to forget that Demi Lovato is a superstar in her own right – one who, like Spears, has held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album charts.
At just 20, Lovato is a full decade younger than Spears, and the difference shows in terms of her confidence level and general willingness to strongly voice her opinions and be bright and bubbly alongside recording industry executive L.A. Reid and her testy boss Simon Cowell.
Even at a young age, Lovato brings plenty to the table – including an empathy, based on her own struggles, for how tough it can be for young people pursuing a dream. This was evident Wednesday when she shed tears after a performance of Jesse J’s “Who You Are” by Jillian Jensen, who told the judges about being bullied.
“She is one of my biggest inspirations,” Jensen told the Boston Herald of Lovato.