Grande performing at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in December 2013
June 26, 1993
Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.
|Education||North Broward Preparatory School|
|Family||Frankie Grande (half-brother)|
|Associated acts||Big Sean|
Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993), known professionally as Ariana Grande, is an American singer and actress. She began her career singing on a cruise ship, at sporting events and with various orchestras in South Florida. She appeared in the Broadway musical 13, before landing the role of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television series Victorious in 2009. After the show ended, Grande rose to prominence as a teen idol on her own spinoff, Sam & Cat, along with iCarly actress Jennette McCurdy.
As she kept herself busy with television, Grande began to pursue a musical career appearing on the soundtrack, Music from Victorious (2011), and subsequently signed a recording contract with Republic Records. She successfully launched a music career after the release of her debut studio album, Yours Truly (2013), which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. The albums lead single, “The Way“, became a top ten hit on theBillboard Hot 100 with critics comparing her wide vocal range to Mariah Carey.
Grande developed a maturing image while promoting her second studio album, My Everything (2014), which became her second consecutive number-one album in the United States. The album produced the successful tracks “Problem” and “Break Free“. Some of her achievements include New Artist Of The Year at the 2013 American Music Awards, Favorite Breakout Artist at the 40th People’s Choice Awards and Breakthrough Artist of the Year by the Music Business Association.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Artistry
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Discography
- 7 Stage
- 8 Tours
- 9 Awards and nominations
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Life and career
1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings
Ariana Grande-Butera was born on June 26, 1993 in Boca Raton, Florida. She is the daughter of Joan Grande, Chief executive officer (CEO) of telephone and alarm system company, Hose-McCann Communications, and Edward Butera, who owns a successful graphic design firm in Boca Raton. Her name was originally inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat (1959). She is of Italian descent, “half Sicilian and half Abruzzese” and has an elder half-brother, Frankie Grande (born c. 1983), who is also an actor, dancer and producer, as well as a contestant on season sixteen of Big Brother. Grande’s mother moved with her father from New York to Florida when she was pregnant with her and Ariana revealed that her parents split up when she was 8 or 9. Since the age of two, she would attend just about every home game of the NHL hockey team, Florida Panthers, where she was struck by hockey pucks more than once when she was five years old. As a child, she described herself as being “a very weird little girl” because “I always wanted to have skeleton face paint on or be wearing a Freddy Krueger mask” and that her fifth-birthday party had a Jaws theme. At one point, her mother became concerned for her “dark and deranged” ideas as a child: “There was a stage, when I was 3 or 4, where my mom thought I might grow up to be a serial killer.” Growing up, she took part in children’s and community theater and attended Pine Crest School, and North Broward Preparatory School. She would also perform in front of her grandparents and began professionally pursuing her musical career when she was eight years old.
Grande began her career performing at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship, in various orchestras, such as South Florida’s Philharmonic, Pops and Symphonic Orchestras, and made her national television debut singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the Florida Panthers. She also sang various times at the New York City Jazz club Birdland. In 2008, Grande auditioned and scored her first casting playing the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the kiddie 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.
2009–12: Breakthrough with Nickelodeon
In 2009, she auditioned for the Nickelodeon television show Victorious in New York along with 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies. In this situation-comedy set in a performing arts high school, Grande was cast as Cat Valentine, a classmate and friend of protagonist Tori Vega (Victoria Justice), while Gillies landed the role of the “mean girl”, Jade West. “We booked Victorious together which was totally surreal” said Gillies. When she landed the role, Grande had to dye her hair red every other week because the executive producer, Dan Schneider, did not want all cast members to be brunettes. The show began filming on October 5, 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 frumpy, hapless Tai in Clueless” (1995) and described as being “very impressionable and easily swayed” but “generally sweet.” In 2010, she played the role of Miriam in the musical Cuba Libre, which was written and produced by songwriter Desmond Child.
In 2011, she voiced a fairy, Princess Diaspro, on the Nickelodeon animated television series Winx Club until season six where the role was recast to Cassandra Morris. After season one of Victorious wrapped, Grande wanted to focus on her music career and began working on her debut album in August 2010. She made her first musical appearance on the Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show in August 2011 and signed a record deal with Republic Recordsthe same month. Monte Lipman, the Chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Republic Records, signed Grande after a friend sent him YouTube videos of her covering Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. She released her first single “Put Your Hearts Up,” in December which was cut during sessions for a teen-oriented pop album that was held up by numerous delays. Unsatisfied with the direction of her music, she later disowned the track for itsbubblegum pop sound and had no interest in recording music of that genre. A second soundtrack, Victorious 2.0, was released on June 5, 2012 as an extended play.
In August 2012, it was announced that Victorious was ending its run. However, on August 2 Entertainment Weekly announced that Nickelodeon had officially ordered a spin-off pilot starring Jennette McCurdy and Grande. The sitcom titled Sam & Cat, paired Grande and McCurdy together in a traditional “buddy sitcom” setting as roommates who form an after-school babysitting business, while reprising their roles as Cat Valentine from Victorious and McCurdy’siCarly character, Sam Puckett. The show was picked up by the network on November 29, 2012 and premiered on June 8, 2013. The following month, Nickelodeon doubled Sam & Cat’s original twenty-episode order for season one, making it a forty-episode season. Despite being a success in the ratings, the series was canceled due to Grande’s rising musical career and behind-the-scenes drama, with the final episode airing on July 17, 2014. The third and final soundtrack, Victorious 3.0, was released on November 6, 2012. The music video for the first single, “L.A. Boyz”, features Grande and Victoria Justice performing in front of their cast mates during an episode of Victorious. In December 2012, she collaborated on the single version of “Popular Song“, a duet with British singer-songwriter Mika. She also starred as Snow White in a pantomime production called A Snow White Christmas, with Charlene Tiltonand Neil Patrick Harris, at the Pasadena Playhouse.
2013–present: Yours Truly and My Everything
Grande spent three years recording her debut album, Yours Truly. She completed the album in June 2013, originally titled Daydreamin, and was released on August 30, 2013. It officially debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart with 138,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming the first female artist to have her first album debut atop of the charts since Kesha with Animal in January 2010, and the fifteenth female artist overall. The lead single, “The Way” featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at number ten on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at number nine 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 number four on their list of “Music’s Hottest Minors 2013”, an annual ranking of the most popular musicians under the age of 21. “Baby I” and “Right There“, featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, were also released as singles from the album. Both songs managed to chart worldwide, but were not as successful as its predecessor.
The 2013 children’s film, Swindle, an adaptation of the novel of the same name, saw Grande play a typical hot cheerleader, Amanda Benson, along with Sam & Cat co-star McCurdy, which premiered on Nickelodeon in August.That same month, she lent her vocals on the duet “Almost Is Never Enough” with Nathan Sykes of the English–Irish 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 American Music Awards, she won the award for New Artist Of The Year and was the most mentioned artist on Twitter that night. A four-song Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses, was released in December 2013.
In January 2014, Grande confirmed reports that recording had begun for her second studio album with singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder, and record producers Benny Blanco and Max Martin. The same month, she earned the Favorite Breakout Artist award at the People’s Choice Awards 2014. In March 2014, Grande was invited to sing 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. In addition, she received the “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” award from the Music Business Association. The award recognized Grande’s achievements throughout 2013, including a number one debut on the Billboard 200 with her debut album, Yours Truly, and a top ten single on the Hot 100 with “The Way”.
Her second studio album, My Everything was released on August 25 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 number-one album in the United States. 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 number three (eventually climbing to number two) on the Billboard Hot 100, and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grande’s first number one single in the United Kingdom. She made British chart history as the first song to land at number one 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 number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. She performed the song at the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, while wining Best Pop Video for her single “Problem.” She also provided guest vocals on “Bang Bang” withJessie J and Nicki Minaj, the lead single from Jessie J’s upcoming third studio album Sweet Talker (2014). The song reached the top ten in the U.S., making it three songs for Grande in the Hot 100’s top ten the same week (“Problem”, “Break Free”, and “Bang Bang”). She joined Adele as the only female artist with three top ten hits simultaneously as a lead artist.
Voice and music
Grande possesses a four octave light lyric soprano vocal range. She has been deemed the “mini Mariah Carey” and the “new Mariah Carey” by critics due to her wide vocal range. 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 impressive 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.
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 electropopgenres.
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 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 also references Big Sean, with whom she is good friends, as her favorite rapper. 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 Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Beyonce as female artist she tried to channel during the three years it took to create the record and described them as “super-confident women”.
Grande described Imogen Heap as one of her major influences. Taking influence from 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 and praising her technique of “storytelling.”
Grande’s pristine look is often described as “age appropriate” compared to other pop stars who grew up in the public eye. The Daily News feels like 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 artist like Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna, Grande expressed 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, she opts to wear short skirts and crop tops with her signature white knee-high boots. She has been known for sporting several different pairs of her signature go-go boots on stage and red carpets, which led MTV to state, “It’s because we’re pretty sure she’s morphing into a 2014 Nancy Sinatra,” who is widely known for her signature song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” (1966). Grande’s stylist, Brigitte Pilla, custom-designs lots of her stage costumes, including her leather black-and-white checkered dress with the matching knee-high boots. The stylist also picks up her stage costumes 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.” Grande 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. With the release of her debut album, Yours Truly (2013), Grande became frequently compared to Mariah Carey for her vocal range, sound, and musical material. Speaking on the comparisons, Billboard wrote, “that’s not where the similarities end. […] Grande is subverting it with cute, comfortable, and on-trend dresses with a feminine slant.” 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.”
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. Grande also partnered with Kleenex on its “Shield Sneeze Swish” campaign. After watching Blackfish, she urged fans to stop supporting SeaWorld.
She was in a relationship with Jai Brooks, a member of the Australian YouTube group the Janoskians, from August 2012 to July 2013. On May 1, 2014, Grande was photographed kissing Brooks and confirmed that they were back together. On August 5, 2014, Grande was reported to have split with Brooks for the second time. Later that month, it was speculated that Grande was dating rapper Big Sean.
Grande is a vegan and has adopted four dogs. She was raised a Roman Catholic but abandoned Christianity after Pope Benedict reportedly labeled homosexuality and working women as sins. 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 since started following Kabbalah‘s teachings, believing “the basis lies in the idea that if you’re kind to others, good things will happen to you.”
On July 5, 2014, Grande halted her plans when she heard that her grandfather was dying and went to be by his side. Her grandfather died twenty days later, and she received supportive messages on her Twitter page from her manager Scooter Braun, Jennette McCurdy, and other fans.
- The Listening Sessions (2013)
Awards and nominations
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- “Twitter: Ariana Grande (verified account)”. February 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012. “Oh my goodness. Look what I just found!.. This is my school ID from 8th grade. LOL. Had 2 share this with you guys.”
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- “Twitter: Ariana Grande (verified account)”. April 10, 2014. “yes hahaha the chart says Greece/Italy. I just thought it was funny. I’m assuming the North African bit is Moroccan or Tunisia?”
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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