Ariana Grande

  • Pop singer and songwriter born in 1993 in Boca Raton Florida.
  • At a young age, Grande performed in musical theater at the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theater, with roles in Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and others. At 13 years old, she decided that she wanted a career in music. She continued to perform in theater production – at 15 years old, she secured a role in the musical 13 on Broadway, and she occasionally performed at a jazz club in New York. The following year, she was cast in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious, giving her exposure on a national scale. While she enjoyed acting, she continued to aspire to a musical career. While acting in the second season of Victorious, she recorded herself singing covers of songs by Adele, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and she posted them to YouTube. A record label executive saw the videos and signed Grande to a recording contract.
  • In late 2011, her debut single was released – Put Your Hearts Up. It was a bubblegum pop song that she despised, saying that she had no interest in the genre. Still, it was popular with teenagers. She contributed vocals to three soundtracks to Victorious, and continued to perform in other Nickelodeon productions.
  • In the summer of 2013, after three years of recording, her debut album was released. Yours Truly debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and would go on to be certified platinum. It was nothing like bubblegum pop – it incorporated R&B, with influences of doo-wop, hip-hop, and 50s and 60s pop. The first single from the album was The Way. It featured rapper Mac Miller supporting with vocals, and it peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 chart. A second single, Baby I, peaked at #21.
  • After releasing an EP of Christmas songs in 2013, the following year she released her second studio album, My Everything. It was a breakthrough for Grande, with four singles that were top 10 hits. Problem (featuring Iggy Azalea) peaked at #2, Break Free (featuring Zedd) was a technopop hit at #4, Bang Bang (with Jesse J and Nicki Minaj) reached #3 and Love Me Harder (featuring The Weeknd) reached #7. All four songs were multi-platinum hits as singles. She achieved the rare feat of having three songs all in the top 10 of the Hot 100 at the same time.
  • There was no slowing down for Grande. She released her Dangerous Woman album in 2016. It was her only studio album not to top the album chart – it made it to #2. Three more singles landed in the top 10 of the Hot 100 chart – Focus, Side to Side, and the title track. Over the next year, she was everywhere – headlining concert tours and music festivals, performing in a television broadcast of the musical Hairspray, performing on the reality show The Voice, performing on Saturday Night Live, contributing vocals to the soundtrack of Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and many other activities. At the end of 2017, Billboard named her “Female Artist of the Year.”
  • In May 2017, Grande was performing in Manchester England when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb as people were leaving the show, killing 22 people. Grande suspended her tour after the event and held a televised concert with other pop artists in June to raise money for the victims. The event delayed her plans for her next album, but by 2018, the Sweetener album was ready. It was another success, with the lead single No Tears Left to Cry peaking at #3. The song was inspired by the bombing – it was about optimism, and it was loved by critics and fans alike. The video for the song won Best Pop Video at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. Two more hits from the album were God Is a Woman and Breathin’, which reached #8 and #12 respectively on the Hot 100 chart. The Sweetener album won the 2019 Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
  • While Grande’s music had made her one of the most popular artists of the decade, she had not yet had a #1 single. That changed after the release of her Thank You, Next album in 2019. Both the title track and 7 Rings made it to #1, and a third single, Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored reached #2. And in 2020, she would have three more #1 songs. First, she recorded a charity single with Justin Bieber called Stuck With U, with the proceeds donated to the First Responders Children’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her second #1 was Rain On Me, a dance-pop song recorded with Lady Gaga and released on Gaga’s Chromatica album – Grande and Gaga both received a Grammy award for it. Her third #1 of 2020 was the title track to her Positions album. Another song from the album, 34+35, peaked at #2 on the chart.
  • Grande is arguably the most popular woman in music today. She is the most followed woman on Instagram (221 million followers) and YouTube (47 million subscribers), and she was the most streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple Music during the 10s decade. Forbes magazine ranked her as the highest paid female artist in 2020. In addition to her music, she has a line of fragrances, with her Cloud Eau De Parfum winning a Fragrance of the Year award. What can I say – the kids love her. Here is her award winning video No Tears Left to Cry.

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