EXCLUSIVE: Bella Thorne Ready to Take The Reins from Demi Lovato: "She's A Brave Girl...I Respect That"

With Selena Gomez wrapping filming on her final season of Wizards of Waverly Place, and Demi Lovato quitting her hit show Sonny With a Chance to focus solely on her music, someone’s got to take the reins and become the next big Latina star on Disney — and that someone is Shake It Up! star, Bella Thorne.

“I’m excited to be following in their footsteps,” the 13-year-old Cuban star tells Latina.com exclusively. “I’m proud to be Latina and be on the Disney Channel and I’m honored that I can represent Latinas everywhere. I think my dad would be proud too, he used to say I was his Latina princess,” says the adorable Thorne (whose father is deceased).

Thorne, who now that Selena and Demi are gone is the only Latina with her own star vehicle on the Disney Channel, says she looks up to Demi and Selena. “I do look up to both of them,” says Thorne who has met both stars. “I met Demi briefly when I visited Sonny With a Chance. She was kind and wished me well on our show," she explains. "{She} is a beautiful, talented girl who happens to be moving on in her career,” she says of Lovato leaving Sonny With A Chance.

Thorne adds that she admires how Demi has faced her demons head on — Lovato spent several months in rehab undergoing treatment for physical and emotional issues. “She’s a brave girl," says Thorne, who is about to be thrust into the same spotlight that Demi enjoyed a few years ago. "She’s dealing with her issues and I respect that. I wish her the best."

And Thorne has nothing but glowing things to say about fellow-Latina Selena Gomez. "I’ve worked with Selena a few times and she is not only kind, but very professional," says Thorne. “She has lived a very happy, successful life and has always been considerate of her fans. She has done a wonderful job managing her career and keeping herself real — she is very talented, a hard worker and a perfectionist."

As Bella readies herself to take the reins that Gomez and Lovato are leaving behind, the actress says she’s learned important lessons from Demi and Selena that have helped prepare her to become Disney's next big Latina star. “I've learned that you need to stay humble and honest,” says Thorne. “You need to keep it real and in perspective and stay true to your fans. I've also learned that you need to always keep working on your craft and to get better. You owe it to yourself and your fans,” she says. Sounds like she's ready for her close-up!