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Ariana Grande

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Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande during The Honeymoon Tour in Jakarta 2015.jpg
Grande performing on The Honeymoon Tour
in 2015
Born Ariana Grande-Butera
(1993-06-26) June 26, 1993 (age 23)
Boca Raton, Florida, US
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active 2008–present
Family Frankie Grande (half-brother)
Musical career
Labels Republic

Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993), known professionally as Ariana Grande (/ˌɑːriˈɑːnə ˈɡrɑːnd/), is an American singer and actress. She began her career in the Broadway musical 13, before landing the role of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television series Victorious in 2009. The show ended after four seasons, and Grande starred on the spinoff, Sam & Cat, which ended in 2014. She has also appeared in other theatre, television and film roles, and has lent her voice to animated television and films.

Grande's music career began with the soundtrack Music from Victorious (2011). She signed a recording contract with Republic Records and released her debut studio album, Yours Truly in 2013, which debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200. The album's lead single, "The Way", debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with critics comparing her wide vocal range to Mariah Carey's range.

Grande's second studio album, My Everything (2014), debuted at No. 1 in the US and charted well in various other countries. With the singles "Problem", "Break Free", "Bang Bang" and "Love Me Harder" from that album, she spent 34 continuous weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and had the most top 10 singles of any artist in 2014. In 2015, Grande promoted My Everything with her first world tour, The Honeymoon Tour, and guest-starred in the Fox comedy horror television series, Scream Queens. She also released the single "Focus", which debuted at No. 7 in the US, and a holiday EP album, Christmas & Chill, and she was heard on several collaborative projects. In 2016, she released her third studio album, Dangerous Woman, as well as several songs from the album. The title track debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Grande the first person in the history of that chart to have the lead single from each of her first three albums debut in the top 10.[1] The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

Grande's accolades include two American Music Awards, the Music Business Association's Breakthrough Artist of the Year, an MTV Video Music Award, two MTV Europe Music Awards and two Grammy Award nominations. In 2016, Time named Grande one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list.[2] Grande has a large following on social media, including the 4th most followed Instagram account.[3]

Life and career

1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings

Ariana Grande-Butera was born in Boca Raton, Florida,[4][5] to Joan Grande, the chief executive officer of Hose-McCann Communications, a telephone and alarm system company,[6][7] and Edward Butera, a graphic design firm owner in Boca Raton.[5][8] Her name was originally inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat (1959).[9] Grande is of Italian descent.[10] She has an older half-brother, Frankie Grande, who is an actor, dancer and producer,[11] and she is close with her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Grande.[12] Grande's family moved from New York to Florida when her mother was pregnant with Grande, and her parents separated when she was around 8 or 9 years old.[8]

As a child, Grande performed with the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater,[13] playing her first role as Annie, as well as performing in the musicals, The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast.[14] At the age of 8, she performed at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship and with various orchestras such as South Florida's Philharmonic, Florida Sunshine Pops and Symphonic Orchestras, and she made her national television debut singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Florida Panthers.[15] She attended Pine Crest School and North Broward Preparatory School.[16]

By age 13, she became serious about pursuing a music career, though she still concentrated on theater.[17] When she first arrived in Los Angeles to meet with her managers, she expressed a desire to record an R&B album when she was 14: "I was like, 'I want to make an R&B album,' They were like 'Um, that's a helluva goal! Who is going to buy a 14-year-old's R&B album?!'"[8] In 2008, Grande was cast in the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the musical 13 on Broadway,[18] for which she won a National Youth Theatre Association Award.[19] When she joined the musical, Grande left her high school, North Broward Preparatory School, but continued to be enrolled. The school sent materials to her so she could study with tutors.[20][21] She also sang various times at the New York City jazz club, Birdland.[22]

2009–2012: Breakthrough with Nickelodeon

Grande performing with the Victorious cast, May 2011

Grande auditioned for the Nickelodeon television show Victorious in New York along with 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies in 2009.[23] In this sitcom set in a performing arts high school, Grande was cast as Cat Valentine.[23] Grande had to dye her hair red every other week for the role because the executive producer, Dan Schneider, did not want all cast members to be brunettes, and the red hair was also a feature that the network felt would fit the personality of Cat.[24] The show premiered in March 2010 to the second largest audience for a live-action series in Nickelodeon history with 5.7 million viewers.[25][26] The role helped propel Grande to teen idol status, but she was more interested in a music career stating that acting is "fun, but music has always been first and foremost with me."[27] Her character was compared to "Brittany Murphy's performance as the hapless Tai in Clueless" (1995) and described as being "very impressionable and easily swayed" but "generally sweet."[28] Season two premiered in April 2011 to 6.2 million viewers, becoming the highest rated episode of Victorious.[29] In 2010, she played the role of Miriam in the musical Cuba Libre, which was written and produced by songwriter Desmond Child.[20]

Grande in July 2011

After the first season of Victorious wrapped, Grande wanted to focus on her music career and began working on her debut album in August 2010.[30] To strengthen her vocal range, she began working with vocal coach Eric Vetro.[31] She made her first musical appearance on the track "Give It Up" on the soundtrack Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show in August 2011. While filming Victorious, Grande made several recordings of herself singing covers of songs by Adele, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and she uploaded them to YouTube.[32] A friend of Monte Lipman, CEO of Republic Records, came across one of Grande's videos. Impressed by her vocals, he sent the links to Lipman, who signed her to a recording contract.[8] She released her first single, "Put Your Hearts Up", in December 2011, which was recorded for a teen-oriented pop album that was not issued.[33] She later disowned the track for its bubblegum pop sound, saying that she had no interest in recording music of that genre.[33] The song was later certified gold by the RIAA.[34] Also in 2011, she voiced the fairy, Princess Diaspro, in 13 episodes of the Nickelodeon version of the Italian animated television series Winx Club, appeared in Greyson Chance's music video for a song called "Unfriend You" from his album Hold On 'til the Night, portraying Chance's ex-girlfriend, and voiced the title role in the English dub of the Spanish-language animated film Snowflake, the White Gorilla.[35][36]

A second soundtrack, Victorious 2.0, was released on June 5, 2012 as an extended play, featuring Grande in the song "Don't You (Forget About Me)".[37] After three seasons, Victorious was not renewed.[38] The finale aired in February 2013. The third and final Victorious soundtrack, Victorious 3.0, was released on November 6, 2012, featuring Grande in the song "L.A. Boyz".[39] The music video for "L.A. Boyz" features Grande and Victoria Justice performing in front of their cast mates during an episode of Victorious.[40] In December 2012, Grande collaborated on the single version of "Popular Song", a duet with British singer and songwriter Mika.[41] She also starred over the holiday season as Snow White in a pantomime-style musical theatre production called A Snow White Christmas, together with Charlene Tilton and Neil Patrick Harris, at the Pasadena Playhouse.[42]

Meanwhile, Nickelodeon created an iCarly and Victorious spin-off starring Jennette McCurdy and Grande.[43] The buddy sitcom, titled Sam & Cat, paired Grande and McCurdy as roommates who form an after-school babysitting business, reprising their respective roles as Cat Valentine from Victorious and Sam Puckett from iCarly.[44] The pilot aired on June 8, 2013, and the show was immediately picked up by the network.[45] The following month, Nickelodeon doubled Sam & Cat's original twenty-episode order for season one, making it a forty-episode season.[46] Despite its success in the ratings, the series was canceled.[47] The final episode aired on July 17, 2014.[48]

2013–2014: Yours Truly and My Everything

Grande at the Worldwide Day of Play in 2013

Grande recorded her debut album, Yours Truly, over a three-year period.[49] She completed the album, originally titled Daydreamin', in June 2013; it was released on August 30, 2013.[49] She is credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album.[50] In September 2013, it debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, with 138,000 copies sold in its first week, making Grande the first female artist, since Kesha, to have her first album debut atop of the charts and ranking her the fifteenth female artist overall.[51][52] Yours Truly also debuted in the top 10 in several other countries, including Australia,[53] the UK,[54] Ireland,[55] and the Netherlands.[56] By April 2014, the album had sold over 500,000 copies in the United States, and later it became Grande's first platinum album.[57][58]

The lead single, "The Way" featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[59] eventually peaking at No. 9 for two weeks,[60] and spent 26 weeks on the Hot 100.[61] Grande was eventually sued by Minder Music for copying the line, "What we gotta do right here is go back, back in time" from the 1972 song "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch.[62] Following the release of the album, Billboard magazine ranked Grande at No. 4 on their list of "Music's Hottest Minors 2013", an annual ranking of the most popular musicians under the age of 21.[63] The second single, "Baby I" debuted at No. 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it her second Top 40 hit.[64] The song also debuted at No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart, making Grande the only female music artist to debut two songs in the top 10 of the Hot Digital Songs chart during the year 2013.[65] The third single, "Right There", featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean,[66][67] debuted at No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Grande performing in 2013 at 93.3 FLZ Jingle Ball

In the 2013 Nickelodeon film Swindle, an adaptation of the children's book of the same name, Grande played Amanda Benson.[36][68] That same month, she lent her vocals on the duet "Almost Is Never Enough" with Nathan Sykes of the British boy band The Wanted. She also joined Justin Bieber on his Believe Tour for three shows and kicked off her own headlining mini-tour, The Listening Sessions.[69][70] At the 2013 American Music Awards, she won the award for New Artist of the Year.[71][72] She released a four-song Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses in December 2013.[73] Christmas Kisses received critical praise for its "R&B spin" on the Christmas classics.[74]

By January 2014, Grande had begun recording her second studio album, with singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder and record producers Benny Blanco and Max Martin.[75][76] Grande is also credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album.[50] The same month, she earned the Favorite Breakout Artist award at the People's Choice Awards 2014.[77] In March 2014, Grande sang at the White House concert, "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House".[78][79] The following month, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama invited Grande again to perform at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll event along with collaborator Big Sean.[80] A duet with R&B singer Chris Brown, "Don't Be Gone Too Long", was scheduled for a March 24 release date but was delayed because of Brown's legal problems.[81] Grande received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association, recognizing her achievements throughout 2013, including her No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 with her first album and her top 10 single on the Hot 100.[77]

Grande released her second studio album My Everything on August 25, 2014, with Rolling Stone magazine writing that "My Everything is where the 21-year-old Nickelodeon starlet grows up. It's a confident, intelligent, brazen pop statement, mixing bubblegum diva vocals with EDM break beats".[82] It sold 169,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200, becoming her second consecutive No. 1 album in the US.[83] Its lead single, "Problem", features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and premiered at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards on April 27.[84][85] The song debuted at No. 3 (eventually climbing to No. 2) on the Billboard Hot 100, and debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grande's first No. 1 single in the United Kingdom.[86] It made British chart history as the first song to land at No. 1 based on sales and streams.[86] The song was noted for being the highest debut ever for a collaboration of female soloists.[87] The second single, "Break Free", featuring German musician and producer Zedd,[88] peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.[89] As of September 2016, the futuristic video had been viewed more than 700 million times.[90] She performed the song at the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, while winning Best Pop Video for her single "Problem".[91] As of May 2016, that video had been viewed more than 800 million times.[92] She also provided guest vocals on "Bang Bang" with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, the lead single from Jessie J's third studio album Sweet Talker (2014).[93] The song reached No. 3 in the US, Grande's third song in the Hot 100's top 10 the same week ("Problem", "Break Free" and "Bang Bang"),[89] and went to No.1 in the UK. She joined Adele as the only female artist with three top 10 hits simultaneously as a lead artist.[89] The music video for "Bang Bang" has been viewed more than 700 million times on YouTube.[94] Billboard's review noted that My Everything is not kid-friendly, like Grande's earlier efforts, and stated:

[S]he has pulled more sounds into her repertoire while keeping her biggest weapon, a remarkable vocal range, as a steady foundation. ... My Everything is a less cohesive project than Yours Truly, although its best moments eclipse the highs of Grande's 2013 debut. The singles "Problem" and "Break Free" remain dizzying dance tunes, and back-to-back solo songs "One Last Time" and "Why Try" possess the types of flawless melodies that are typically reserved for the world's biggest pop divas. The back half of the album's many collaborations are hit-or-miss.[95]

On September 27, 2014, Grande was the musical performer on the season 40 premiere of NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Chris Pratt hosting.[96] Three days later, the third single from My Everything, "Love Me Harder", featuring Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 7.[97] In November 2014, Grande was featured in Major Lazer's song "All My Love" which was released as the fourth single from the soundtrack album for the film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.[98] The same month, Grande released a Christmas song titled "Santa Tell Me".[99] Spending 34 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014,[100] Grande had the most top 10 singles of any artist that year.[101] She later released a fifth single from My Everything, "One Last Time", which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. By April 2015, the album had sold over 600,000 copies in the US[102] and is certified double platinum by the RIAA.[58]

2015–present: The Honeymoon Tour and Dangerous Woman

In early 2015, Grande embarked on The Honeymoon Tour of North America and Europe, with several later stops in Asia and South America.[103] The tour earned $14 million in its first 25 performances, selling 290,699 tickets.[104] Following the tour's early success, more dates were added,[105] and the tour concluded in October 2015 after a total of nearly 90 dates.[106] Reviews of the tour performances generally praised Grande's vocals and ability to convey emotion in the songs but found the concerts to be over-produced: "[S]ome judicious editing would've elevated the evening from surprising to satisfying and possibly even shockingly good. As it is, Grande is so busy piling on the spectacle she neglects to highlight the one thing – those deceptively powerful pipes – setting her apart from her contemporaries."[107] Grande was featured on Cashmere Cat's song "Adore", which was released in March during her Honeymoon Tour; a review in USA Today said: "Grande's towering vocals have never sounded better than on this offbeat R&B track."[108]

In 2015, Grande guest-starred in several episodes of the Fox comedy-horror TV series Scream Queens as Chanel #2,[109][110] She also launched her first fragrance, "Ari by Ariana Grande".[111][112] Grande filmed an episode for the Fox TV reality series Knock Knock Live, but the show was cancelled before her episode aired.[113][114] Also in 2015, Grande was recording songs for her third studio album, Dangerous Woman, which was originally titled Moonlight.[115][116] Grande released the single "Focus", initially intended as the lead single from the album, in October 2015,[117] which debuted at No. 7 on the Hot 100.[118] By March 2016, the official video of the song had been viewed more than 500 million times on YouTube.[119] During 2015, she signed an exclusive publishing contract with Universal Music Publishing Group covering her entire catalogue;[120] duetted in Italian with Andrea Bocelli on the track "E Più Ti Penso" from his album Cinema, and an accompanying video;[121] covered the song "Zero to Hero", from the film Hercules, in the compilation album We Love Disney;[122] and was featured, with Meghan Trainor, on Who Is Fancy's song "Boys like You".[123] Grande also released her second Christmas EP, titled Christmas & Chill,[124] which debuted at No. 34 on the Billboard 200[125] and No. 3 on Billboard's Holiday Albums chart.[126]

Grande at the B96 Pepsi SummerBash in 2016

In March 2016, Grande released "Dangerous Woman" as the lead single from the retitled album of the same name.[127][128] The single debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Grande's seventh top 10 entry on that chart. She is the first person in the history of the Hot 100 to have the lead single from each of her first three albums debut in the top 10.[1] The song later peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100.[129] On March 12, 2016, she appeared as host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live, where she performed "Dangerous Woman" and debuted another song from the album, "Be Alright".[130] On March 18, Grande released "Be Alright",[131] which charted at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.[132] In May, among other appearances to promote the album, on The Voice season 10 finale, Grande sang her second single from the album, "Into You" (which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100)[133] and duetted with Christina Aguilera on "Dangerous Woman".[134] She released the album on May 20, 2016; it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200,[135] No. 1 in the UK,[136] No. 2 in Japan,[137] and No. 1 in several other markets, including Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and Taiwan.[138] Nolan Feeney commented in Entertainment Weekly that, in the album, Grande "pulls off pop, R&B, reggae, and house – all without overextending herself or pandering to trends".[139] At the Summertime Ball at London's Wembley Stadium in June, Grande performed three songs from the album as part of her set.[140] In August, Grande released a third single from the album, "Side to Side", featuring rapper Nicki Minaj, her eighth top 10 entry on the Hot 100, which peaked at No. 8 on that chart.[141]

In 2016, Grande appeared in a cameo role in the comedy film Zoolander 2 (2016), starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.[142] She also collaborated with MAC Cosmetics on a makeup collection, donating 100% of proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund,[143] released additional fragrances[144] and launched a fashion line in collaboration with Lipsy London.[145] Grande garnered positive reviews, as host of 2016 Saturday Night Live in 2016, for her impressions of various singers,[146][147] some of which she had done on The Tonight Show.[148] Jonathon Dornbush of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Grande "not only nailed her musical performances, but also shone as the best part of some of the night's sketches", including a "shockingly good" Jennifer Lawrence impression; "Grande proved she could hold her own amongst the SNL players."[149] Stephanie Webber of Us Weekly called Grande "really, really talented" and praised her "long list of impeccable celebrity impersonations."[150] Grande won an online voting poll on Entertainment Weekly as the "best host of the season".[151] In August, Grande performed Whitney Houston songs in a tribute to Houston on the season finale of the ABC TV show Greatest Hits[152] and headlined the opening night of Billboard's Hot 100 Festival, performing a nearly hour-long set of her singles.[153] Grande made a TV commercial for T-Mobile that first aired in October 2016.[154] She is scheduled to play Penny in the December 2016 NBC television broadcast Hairspray Live![155] She also expects to begin her Dangerous Woman Tour in March 2017.[156][157]

Grande has a large following on social media. As of September 2016, Grande's YouTube channel ArianaGrandeVevo had accrued more than 10 million subscribers and was ranked as the 27th most subscribed channel;[158] her music videos had been viewed more than 5 billion times;[159] her Instagram account had accumulated more than 85 million followers,[160] ranking as the 4th most followed Instagram account;[3] her Twitter account had more than 40 million followers,[161] placing it as the 17th most followed Twitter account;[162] and her Facebook page had more than 30 million "likes".[163]

Personal life and philanthropy

Grande was raised a Roman Catholic but abandoned Catholicism during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI,[164] citing opposition to the church's stance on homosexuality,[5][165] noting that her brother, Frankie, is gay.[166] She has followed Kabbalah teachings since the age of twelve or earlier, along with Frankie,[167] believing "the basis lies in the idea that if you're kind to others, good things will happen to you."[168] Grande met actor Graham Phillips in the cast of the musical 13 in 2008 and dated him until December 2011.[169] She dated Australian YouTube comedian Jai Brooks from August 2012 to July 2013[170][171] and rekindled her relationship with Brooks in May 2014, though they separated again after three months of dating.[5][172][173] Grande was involved with her occasional musical collaborator Big Sean in a relationship that ended in April 2015 after eight months of dating.[174][175][176]

At the age of ten Grande co-founded the South Florida youth singing group Kids Who Care, which performed for charitable fund-raising events and raised over $500,000 for charities in 2007 alone.[20] In the summer of 2009, as a member of the charitable organization Broadway in South Africa, Grande, along with her brother Frankie, performed and taught music and dance to children in Gugulethu, South Africa.[177][178] After watching Blackfish, she urged fans to stop supporting SeaWorld and has become a vegan.[5][179]

She was featured, along with Bridgit Mendler and Kat Graham, in Seventeen magazine in a March 2013 public campaign to end online bullying called "Delete Digital Drama".[180] In September 2014, Grande participated at the charitable Stand Up to Cancer television program, performing the title track "My Everything" in dedication to her grandfather, who had died from cancer in July.[181] Grande, who has adopted several rescue dogs as pets, promoted pet adoption and paid the adoption fees of 35 rescue dogs in connection with her concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City and American Airlines Arena in Miami in March 2015.[182][183] In 2016, she launched, with MAC Cosmetics, a line of lip shades called "Ariana Grande's MAC Viva Glam". All of the profits will benefit people affected by HIV and AIDS.[184][185]

A few of her works, such as the songs "Break Your Heart Right Back" and "Break Free" also touch upon LGBT themes.[186] In May 2015, Grande and Miley Cyrus performed a cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" to raise awareness for Cyrus's Happy Hippie Foundation, which helps homeless and LGBT youths.[187] The song was part of Cyrus's series of "Backyard Sessions" collaborations.[188] In June 2015, Grande headlined the Dance On the Pier event, part of the LGBT Pride Week in New York City,[109][189] giving "one of the best performances the event has ever seen."[190]


Musical style and influences

Mariah Carey, one of Grande's vocal influences

Grande's music is generally pop and R&B, and it has elements of funk, dance and hip hop.[50][191] Grande said she grew up mainly listening to urban pop and 90s music.[191][192] Grande said of her debut album, Yours Truly (2013), that "half of it is a throwback and like very familiar feeling, feel good, and then half of it is something that I've created that's sort of special and unique and refreshing".[193] The doo-wop-inspired disc was complimented for recreating the R&B "vibe and feel of the 90s" with the help of nineties R&B hit maker Babyface.[194] The follow-up, My Everything (2014), has been described as an evolution from her first album with a new sound exploring EDM and electropop genres.[82] The Los Angeles Times review of her third album, Dangerous Woman, commented that it is "impressive how fully she inhabits the emotional environment of each song here, even when one directly contradicts another. ... She's ... deft [at] adapting to different styles".[195]

"I love Mariah Carey. She is literally my favorite human being on the planet. And of course Whitney [Houston] as well. As far as vocal influences go, Whitney and Mariah pretty much cover it. I love Fergie as well. She's just so fun and passionate. I love that she raps as well. Like, she has a fantastic voice and she can belt Gs and As and she doesn't have to do it all the time. She just has swag and I think that's really cool."

— Grande, on her musical influences.[196]

Grande has cited Cuban-American star Gloria Estefan as the person who inspired her to pursue a career in the music industry, after Estefan complimented a performance she saw Grande give on a cruise ship when she was eight years old.[197] Grande cites Whitney Houston as a major influence on her career, stating that Houston has inspired her "endlessly" since she was a child.[198] Grande also described Houston as the reason why she began singing, as well as citing Brandy Norwood as an influence, noting her "riffs" in particular.[199]

She has also cited Madonna, Destiny's Child, Fergie, Christina Aguilera, India.Arie, Imogen Heap and Amy Winehouse as influences.[192][196][200][201] Grande's debut album was inspired by artists like Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry and Madonna, with unreleased collaborations with SkyBlu of LMFAO, 3OH!3, Kool Kojak and Pebe Sebert.[202][203][204] She named Keys, Carey and Beyoncé as female artists she tried to channel during the three years it took to create the record.[205] Grande described Imogen Heap as one of her influences, noting Heap's "intricate" song structure. She also cites India.Arie as an influence, calling Arie's voice "heaven" and praising her lyrics.[199] She has described actress and singer Judy Garland as being one of her childhood influences, stating that she grew up watching and listening to Garland, admiring her ability to tell "a story when she sings".[199] Grande has stated that Big Sean, whom she dated from 2014 to 2015, is her favorite rapper and collaborator.[191][206]


Grande possesses a four-octave and a note soprano vocal range,[207] and the whistle register.[208] With the release of her debut album, Yours Truly (2013), Grande was deemed the "mini Mariah Carey" and the "new Mariah Carey" by some critics because of her wide vocal range, sound and musical material.[209][210][211] Speaking on the comparisons, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd of Billboard wrote that both Carey and Grande "got the talent to let their vocals do the talking."[212] Shepherd continued, "that's not where the similarities end. ... Grande is subverting it with cute, comfortable, and on-trend dresses with a feminine slant."[212] Grande expressed her feelings towards being compared to Mariah Carey as a "huge compliment" and a "blessing",[200][213] and has cited both Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as influences for her work.[20][192][196] She said: "[I]t's a huge compliment, but when you hear my entire album, you'll see that Mariah's sound is much different than mine."[200] Steven J. Horowitz of Billboard said in 2014 that it was time to stop comparing Grande to Carey stating, "With her sophomore album, the "Problem" singer no longer resembles the elusive chanteuse – and that's okay."[211]

Her vocal display at the 2013 American Music Awards, earned praise from celebrities like Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga, which saw Grande singing a cappella to her hit "The Way" and a Motown-style performance of "Tattooed Heart."[214] During an interview with Sirius XM, American pop singer Katy Perry praised Grande, saying she has "the best female vocal in pop music today. She has literally ... the best voice live."[215][216] In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin was asked if a duet with her was a possibility, to which he responded: "I would man, but she can sing so much better than me. I don’t want to be humiliated in that fashion, I was in the car yesterday and "Problem" was on, I was like, 'I just can’t do that.'"[217] In 2016, composer and playwright Jason Robert Brown addressed Grande in Time magazine:

[N]o matter how much you are underestimated ... you are going to open your mouth and that unbelievable sound is going to come out. That extraordinary, versatile, limitless instrument that allows you to shut down every objection and every obstacle. That voice – powered by nothing but your remarkable empathy, your ravenous intelligence, your cool discipline and your voracious ambition.[2]

Public image

Grande performing at Amalie Arena in 2013

Grande's modest look early in her career was described as "age appropriate", compared with other pop stars who grew up in the public eye.[212] Jim Farber of New York Daily News wrote in 2014 that Grande received less attention "for how little she wears or how graphically she moves than for how she sings."[218] By 2014, however, she opted to wear short skirts and crop tops with knee-high boots in performances and on red carpets.[219] After years of dying her hair red to play Cat Valentine, Grande wore extensions while her natural hair grew out.[24] In 2015, she reported with apparent relief that her natural "healthy curls" were back,[220] although she continued generally to wear it straightened in her familiar half-ponytail.[221] Anne T. Donahue of MTV called Grande "aesthetically relevant" and argued that her bold and whimsical fashion choices should receive more critical attention:

Grande's ponytail is ... as famous as her voice and ... a massive component of the pop culture zeitgeist. ... [W]hile pulling off a high ponytail takes courage and commitment, so does her recent [fashion] ode to Marilyn Monroe at the [2016] MTV Movie Awards and her homage to crime-fighting heroes in her 'Dangerous Woman' cover art. ... [S]he's boasted floor-length red gowns, chokers, crop tops, and oversize jackets [and] everything from theater garb (see: flapper dresses) to Mickey Mouse ears to A-line minis. Which, in an industry rich in self-branding, is a beautiful rarity ... deft whimsy. ... So why aren't we giving her credit? ... [D]ismissing Ariana Grande as a fashion force is an easy and lazy way of categorizing her. ... [W]e fail to mention her in the same breath as fellow aesthetically relevant pop stars. [F]ashion is best when it's an extension of self and a wearable form of expression. (Plus, we know that when we see someone take risks, they understand fashion on an intrinsic level...).[222]

Although Grande drew criticism for allegedly impolite interactions with reporters and fans in 2014,[223] she dismissed these reports as "weird, inaccurate depictions".[224] After considering the incidents most frequently mentioned in the press and the available evidence, PopSugar concluded that Grande's was "just normal star behavior" and "not the most ideal situation, but ... not exactly the sign of a diva".[225] Rolling Stone wrote: "Some may cry 'diva', but it's also Grande just taking a stand to not allow others to control her image."[226] She was praised in the press and by female celebrities like Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Selena Gomez for an "empowering" 2015 essay posted on Twitter decrying the double standard and misogyny in the focus of the press on female musicians' relationships and sex lives, instead of "their value as an individual".[227][228] Grande noted that she has "more to talk about" concerning her music and accomplishments.[229][230] In 2016, E! writer Kendall Fisher called her "a feminist hero" in an essay examining Grande's feminist statements.[231]

In July 2015, Grande was seen on surveillance video in a doughnut shop licking doughnuts that were on display and saying "I hate Americans. I hate America. This is disgusting."[232] She responded to critics, writing that she is "extremely proud to be an American" and that her comments related to American obesity.[233] She later released a video apology for "behaving poorly".[234] The incident was parodied by The Muppets[235] and featured in Miley Cyrus' Saturday Night Live cover of "My Way", about the regrets of the summer of 2015.[236] Grande mocked the incident herself on Saturday Night Live in 2016.[237]

Awards and nominations

Grande has been nominated for two Grammy Awards[238] and has won an MTV Video Music Award,[239] two MTV Europe Music Awards and two American Music Awards (2013 and 2015).[240][241] She has received seven Billboard Music Award nominations. Grande won a 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite TV Actress for her performances on Sam & Cat.[242] Subsequently, she won two more Kids' Choice Awards[243][244] and one People's Choice Award.[245] In 2014, she received a Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association for excellence during her debut year.[246] At the Bambi Awards, she received an award for Best Newcomer.[247] She also received the 2014 IHeartRadio Music Awards Young Influencer Award[248] and the Billboard Women in Music Award: Rising Star for her accomplishments in 2014.[249] She has won four Teen Choice Awards.[250][251] In 2016, Grande was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Battery's Down Bat Mitzvah Riffer Episode: "Bad Bad News"
2010–13 Victorious Cat Valentine Main role (56 episodes)
2011 iCarly Cat Valentine Episode: "iParty with Victorious"
2011–13 Winx Club Princess Diaspro (voice) Recurring role (Specials, seasons 3, 5)
2013 Swindle Amanda Benson Nickelodeon Original Movie
2013–14 Sam & Cat Cat Valentine Co-lead role (35 episodes)
2014 Family Guy Italian Daughter (voice)[36] Episode: "Mom's the Word"
2014 Saturday Night Live Herself/musical guest Episode: "Chris Pratt/Ariana Grande"
2015 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself/guest judge Episode: "Ru Hollywood Stories"
2015 Knock Knock Live[113] Herself Unaired episode
2015 Scream Queens[110] Sonya Herfmann / Chanel #2 Recurring role, season 1 (4 episodes)
2016 Saturday Night Live Host and musical guest Episode: "Ariana Grande"
2016 The Voice Performer – Duet with Christina Aguilera Air date: May 26, 2016 (Season 10 finale)
2016 Hairspray Live![253] Penny Pingleton Special
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Snowflake, the White Gorilla[254] Snowflake (voice) English dub
2016 Underdogs[255] Laura (voice) English dub; direct to video
2016 Zoolander No. 2 Woman in bondage outfit[256] Cameo




Festival (various artists)

Opening act

See also


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