For Selena Gomez, years of being a Disney princess and dating Justin Bieber placed her firmly in the pop princess camp, but that’s a shackle she’s determined to get rid of and releasing her new album on her 21st birthday is one way to go about it.

Selena GomezSelena Gomez at the The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

“It's not something just wanting to make a statement. It's just kind of acknowledging the fact that I'm turning 21 and that I am becoming a woman," Selena told MTV News. "And, it's beautiful for me to kind of apply that to my music."

She hopes that the rest of the album "will stand on its own," she said.

"I got to push myself," added the star of her new album. "I don't want to stay in one place. So I really am happy with how it's kind of turned out."

"I didn't ask for anything. Honestly [Sunday] night was the best gift ever, having all of my friends surprise me and bring me Jack in the Box tacos; there's not any way I'd rather spend my birthday," she said. Her birthday was a low-key affair, not the drug-addled party some young stars enforce when they want to be thought of as an adult.

Selena Gomez and Jaden SmithSelana and Jaden Smith - is this a thing?

"It was fun. I had a little surprise get-together. My friends surprised me when I came home. They decorated my house. It was really sweet." So for Gomez, growing up is key, and she seems to be going the right way about it, because, as we all know, there is a wrong way. I mean, there really, really is. "I could not have asked for a better Birthday. This one will be remembered forever."