Grande performing at the Amalie Arena in December 2013
June 26, 1993
Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Sam & Cat
|Family||Frankie Grande (half-brother)|
She began her career in the Broadway musical 13, before landing the role of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television series Victorious in 2009. After four seasons, the show ended, and Grande starred on the spinoff, Sam & Cat, which ended in 2014. She has also appeared in other theatre, television and film roles and lent her voice to animated television and films. Grande has been featured on the cover of numerous teen and music magazines.
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 number one on the US Billboard 200. The album's lead single, "The Way", became a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, with critics comparing her wide vocal range to Mariah Carey. Her second studio album, My Everything (2014), also reached number one in the United States. It contained the hit singles "Problem" and "Break Free". With songs "Break Free", "Problem", "Bang Bang" and "Love Me Harder", she spent 34 continuous weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and had the most top 10 singles of any artist in 2014. In 2015, she is promoting My Everything in North America and Europe with a tour titled The Honeymoon Tour and is scheduled to appear on the upcoming Fox new comedy-horror TV series Scream Queens. She is currently working on a third studio album titled Moonlight.
Some of Grande's honors include New Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards, Music Business Association's Breakthrough Artist of the Year, "Best Pop Video" at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, "Best Song" and "Best Female" at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, and two Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Philanthropy and activism
- 3 Artistry
- 4 Public image
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Accolades
- 7 Stage
- 8 Filmography
- 9 Discography
- 10 Tours
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Life and career
1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings
Grande-Butera was born in Boca Raton, Florida, to Joan Grande, chief executive officer of telephone and alarm system company Hose-McCann Communications, and Edward Butera, who owns a graphic design firm in Boca Raton. Her name was originally inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat (1959). Grande is of Italian descent, and has stated that she is "half Sicilian and half Abruzzese". She is hypoglycemic. She has a half-brother, Frankie Grande, an actor, dancer and producer, who is about ten years older than she. Grande's mother moved with her father from New York to Florida when she was pregnant with her. She has stated that her parents split up when she was around 8 or 9 years old.
As a child, Grande performed with the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater, playing her first role as Annie, as well as performing in the musicals The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast. At the age of 8, she performed at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship, in various orchestras such as South Florida's Philharmonic, Florida Sunshine Pops and Symphonic Orchestras, and made her national television debut singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Florida Panthers. She attended Pine Crest School and North Broward Preparatory School.
By age 13, she became serious about pursuing a music career, though she still concentrated on theater. 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?!'" In 2008, Grande was cast in the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the musical 13 on Broadway, for which she won a National Youth Theatre Association Award. 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. She also sang various times at the New York City Jazz club Birdland.
2009–12: Breakthrough with Nickelodeon
Grande auditioned for the Nickelodeon television show Victorious in New York along with 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies in 2009. In this sitcom set in a performing arts high school, Grande was cast as Cat Valentine. 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. The show began filming in October 2009 and premiered on March 27, 2010 to the second largest audience for a live-action series in Nickelodeon history with 5.7 million viewers. 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." 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." Season two premiered on April 2, 2011 to 6.2 million viewers, becoming the highest rated episode of Victorious. In 2010, she played the role of Miriam in the musical Cuba Libre, which was written and produced by songwriter Desmond Child.
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. To strengthen her vocal range, she began working with vocal coach Eric Vetro. 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. 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. She released her first single, "Put Your Hearts Up", in December 2011, which was cut during sessions for a teen-oriented pop album that was held up by numerous delays. She later disowned the track for its bubblegum pop sound, saying that she had no interest in recording music of that genre. The song was later certified gold by the RIAA. Also in 2011, she voiced the fairy, Princess Diaspro, in 13 episodes of the Nickelodeon animated television series Winx Club.
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)". After three seasons, Victorious was not renewed. The final season premiered in September 2012, and 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". The music video for "L.A. Boyz" features Grande and Victoria Justice performing in front of their cast mates during an episode of Victorious. In December 2012, Grande collaborated on the single version of "Popular Song", a duet with British singer and songwriter Mika. 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.
Meanwhile, Nickelodeon created an iCarly and Victorious spin-off starring Jennette McCurdy and Grande. 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. The Pilot aired on June 8, 2013, and the show was immediately picked up by the network. The following month, Nickelodeon doubled Sam & Cat's original twenty-episode order for season one, making it a forty-episode season. Despite its success in the ratings, the series was canceled. The final episode aired on July 17, 2014.
2013: Yours Truly
Grande recorded her debut album, Yours Truly, over a three-year period. She completed the album, originally titled Daydreamin, in June 2013; it was released on August 30, 2013. She is credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. 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 the fifteenth female artist overall. Yours Truly also debuted in the top ten in several other countries, including Australia at number six, the UK at number seven, Ireland at number six, and the Netherlands at number five. It also debuted on New Zealand's top 40 albums chart at number eleven. By April 2014, the album had sold more than 500,000 copies in the United States, making it Grande's first gold album.
The lead single, "The Way" featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at No. 9 for two weeks, and spent 26 weeks on the Hot 100. 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. 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. The second single, "Baby I" debuted at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it her second Top 40 hit. The song also debuted at number six on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart, making Grande the only female music artist to debut two songs in the top ten of the Hot Digital Songs chart during the year 2013. The third single, "Right There", featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, debuted at number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In the 2013 Nickelodeon film Swindle, an adaptation of the children's book of the same name, Grande played Amanda Benson, along with her Sam & Cat co-star, McCurdy. It premiered on Nickelodeon in August. 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 tour, The Listening Sessions. At the 2013 American Music Awards, she won the award for New Artist of the Year. She released a four-song Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses in December 2013. Christmas Kisses received critical praise for its "R&B spin" on the Christmas classics.
2014: My Everything
By January 2014, Grande had begun recording her second studio album, with singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder and record producers Benny Blanco and Max Martin. Grande is also credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. The same month, she earned the Favorite Breakout Artist award at the People's Choice Awards 2014. In March 2014, Grande sang at the White House concert, "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House". 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. 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 due to Brown's legal problems. 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 ten single on the Hot 100.
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". 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. Its lead single, "Problem", features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and premiered at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards on April 27. 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. It made British chart history as the first song to land at No. 1 based on sales and streams. The song was noted for being the highest debut ever for a collaboration of female soloists. The second single, "Break Free", featuring German musician and producer Zedd, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. She performed the song at the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, while winning Best Pop Video for her single "Problem." 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). The song reached No. 3 in the US, Grande's third song in the Hot 100's top ten the same week ("Problem", "Break Free", and "Bang Bang"). It also went to No.1 in the UK. She joined Adele as the only female artist with three top ten hits simultaneously as a lead artist. Billboard's review noted that the album is not kid-friendly, like her 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.
On September 27, 2014, Grande was the musical performer on the season 40 premiere of Saturday Night Live—with Chris Pratt hosting. 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 number seven. 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. The same month, Grande released a Christmas song titled "Santa Tell Me." 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 more than 600,000 copies in the US.
2015: The Honeymoon Tour, Scream Queens, and Moonlight
In early 2015, Grande embarked on her extensive The Honeymoon Tour of North America and Europe, with a few stops in Asia. Following the tour's early commercial success, 40 more dates were added through October 15, 2015. Reviews of the tour performances have praised Grande's vocals and ability to convey emotion in the songs but found the concerts to be over-produced: "some 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." The tour earned $14 million in its first 25 performances, selling 290,699 tickets.
Grande is scheduled to appear as Chanel #2, a recurring character, on the new Fox comedy-horror TV series Scream Queens, created by Ryan Murphy, starring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele. Grande is also scheduled to launch her first fragrance, Ari, in September 2015.
On May 29, 2015, Grande began to reveal lyrics of the "Intro" song of her new album on Twitter. Soon afterwards, Grande confirmed that her third studio album will be titled Moonlight. She revealed that she wrote the title track with Victoria Monet, who has also written for Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown and T.I.. She has also signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.
Philanthropy and activism
At the age of ten, Grande co-founded the South Florida youth singing group Kids Who Care, which performed for charitable fund-raising events, raising over $500,000 for charities in 2007 alone. In the summer of 2009, as a member of the charitable organization Broadway in South Africa, Grande performed and taught music and dance to children in Gugulethu, South Africa along with her brother Frankie. After watching Blackfish, she urged fans to stop supporting SeaWorld and has become a vegan.
She was featured on Seventeen magazine in a March 2013 public campaign "Delete Digital Drama" to end online bullying along with Bridgit Mendler and Kat Graham. 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. 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.
Grande has taken several actions to support LGBT rights. She abandoned Catholicism for Kabbalah, believing that the Church is intolerant towards gays, and she publicly defended her brother Frankie, who is gay, from a homophobic slur by a fan. A few of her works, such as the song "Break Your Heart Right Back" and her "Break Free" music video also touch upon LGBT themes. 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. The song was part of Cyrus's series of "Backyard Sessions" collaborations. In June 2015, Grande headlined the Dance On the Pier event, part of the LGBT Pride Week in New York City, giving "one of the best performances the event has ever seen."
Musical style and influences
Her music is generally pop and R&B, and has elements of funk, dance, and hip hop. She grew up mainly listening to urban pop and 90s music. Her music was originally aimed at young audiences with the bubblegum pop single "Put Your Hearts Up", which was recorded during plans for a teen pop album. Yours Truly is described as being half a "throwback" to the R&B music of the 1990s, and Grande describes the second half as "something that is very unique and very special that I've sort of written" which is completely original. In summation of the record, she stated: "So 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 and wonderful and I love it". Her doo-wop-inspired debut album was complimented for recreating the R&B "vibe and feel of the 90s," with the help of nineties R&B hit maker Babyface. The follow-up My Everything (2014), is described as an evolution from her first album with a new sound exploring EDM and electropop genres.
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. Grande cites Whitney Houston as a major influence on her career, stating that Houston has inspired her "endlessly" since she was a child. 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.
She has also cited Madonna, Destiny's Child, Fergie, Christina Aguilera, India.Arie, Imogen Heap, and Amy Winehouse as influences. 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. She named Keys, Carey and Beyoncé as female artists she tried to channel during the three years it took to create the record. 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 lyrical content. 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, as well as praising her ability to tell "a story when she sings". Grande has stated that Big Sean, whom she dated from 2014 to 2015, is her favorite rapper and collaborator.
Grande possesses a four-octave and a semitone soprano vocal range, and the whistle register With the release of her debut album, Yours Truly (2013), Grande has been deemed the "mini Mariah Carey" and the "new Mariah Carey" by critics due to her wide vocal range, sound and musical material. 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." Shepherd continued, "that's not where the similarities end. [...] Grande is subverting it with cute, comfortable, and on-trend dresses with a feminine slant." Grande expressed her feelings towards being compared to Mariah Carey as a "huge compliment" and a "blessing", and often cites both Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as influences for her work. In another interview, she said: "I mean, it's a huge compliment, but when you hear my entire album, you'll see that Mariah's sound is much different than mine." 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." 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, the best voice live. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin also commended Grande's vocal ability when he was asked if a duet with her was a possibility, to which he said "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.’” Steven J. Horowitz of Billboard feels that it is 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."
Grande's pristine look is often described as "age appropriate" compared with other pop stars who grew up in the public eye. Jim Farber of New York Daily News wrote that Grande receives less attention "for how little she wears or how graphically she moves than for how she sings." In contrast to other young female artists like Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna, Grande stated that she wants people to listen to her music "instead of look and judge": "I don't feel confident in my sexuality – or in my fashion. It's just not in my mind. I think of music first." She revealed that she loves wearing skinny jeans with crop tops and babydoll tank tops, as well as "girly floral corsets and peplum shirts." During performances in 2014, she opts to wear short skirts and crop tops with white knee-high boots. She has been known for wearing thigh-high boots on stage and red carpets. MTV commented on her thigh boots trend that "she's morphing into a 2014 Nancy Sinatra," who sang "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (1966). Grande's stylist, Brigitte Pilla, custom-designs many of her stage costumes, including her leather black-and-white checkered dress with the matching knee-high boots she wore during her performance for her hit single "Problem." The stylist has also purchased stage costumes for her at a sex shop. Grande was shocked when she found out, but said, "I can't complain because the dresses look really good on stage."
Her signature ponytail hairstyle became an overwhelming fan input on the social media, which led Grande to explain on her Instagram that playing the role of Cat Valentine on Victorious "completely destroyed my hair" because "I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first four years." She also revealed that she wears extensions in a pony tail and prefers to have brown hair. On the red carpet, she usually opts for mini-dresses with girly prints and colors.
Although Grande drew criticism for interactions with some reporters and fans in 2014, she was praised 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 "their value as an individual." She noted that she has "so much more to talk about" concerning her music and accomplishments, like her current successful tour.
She dated actor Graham Phillips from 2008 to December 2011. She later was in a relationship with Australian Jai Brooks, a member of the group The Janoskians, from August 2012 to July 2013. Grande dated The Wanted member Nathan Sykes from August to December 2013. By May 2014, Grande and Brooks were back together but split for a second time three months later. Grande dated rapper Big Sean for eight months ending in April 2015.
Grande was raised a Roman Catholic but abandoned Catholicism after becoming disillusioned with the church during the reign of Pope Benedict, including the church's opposition to gay marriage. Grande stated, "I lost faith when the Pope decided to tell me that everything I loved and believed in was wrong. I needed something else to believe in." She has followed Kabbalah teachings since at least the age of twelve, believing "the basis lies in the idea that if you're kind to others, good things will happen to you."
Grande has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. She won an American Music Award, one MTV Video Music Award out of four nominations seven Billboard Music Award nominations, and two MTV Europe Music Awards out of seven nominations. In 2014, Grande received a Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association for excellence during her debut year. The next year at the IHeartRadio Music Awards, Grande received a Young Influencer Award. At the Bambi Awards, she received an award for Best Newcomer. Grande won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Best Actress for her performances on Sam & Cat. She also received a Billboard Women in Music Award as a Rising Star for her accomplishments in 2014.
|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 (13 episodes)|
|2013||Swindle||Amanda Benson||TV film|
|2013–14||Sam & Cat||Cat Valentine||Co-lead role (all 35 episodes)|
|2014||Family Guy||Italian Daughter (voice)||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||Scream Queens||Chanel #2||Recurring role|
|2011||Snowflake, the White Gorilla||Snowflake (voice)||English dub|
|2015||Underdogs||Laura (voice)||English dub|
Festival (various artists)
- The Jingle Ball Tour (2013)
- The Jingle Ball Tour (2014)
- Honorific nicknames in popular music
- List of best-charting music artists in the United States
- List of Billboard Social 50 number-one artists
- List of Billboard Artist 100 number-one artists
- List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones
- List of Teen Vogue cover models
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I am Italian American, half Sicilian and half Abruzzese
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ariana Grande.|
- Official website
- Ariana Grande at the Internet Movie Database
- Ariana Grande at the Internet Broadway Database