Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993), known professionally as Ariana Grande (/ˌɑːriːˈɑːnə ˈɡrɑːndeɪ/), 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. 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’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”, reached the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100, with critics comparing her wide vocal range to Mariah Carey’s.
Grande’s second studio album, My Everything (2014), also reached number one in the United States 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 lead single “Focus” from her upcoming third album, Dangerous Woman, released a holiday EP album, Christmas & Chill, and was heard on several collaborative projects.
Grande’s accolades include two American Music Awards, Music Business Association’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year, an MTV Video Music Award, an MTV Europe Music Award and two Grammy Award nominations. Grande has a large following on social media.
- 1 Life and career
- 1.1 1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings
- 1.2 2009–12: Breakthrough with Nickelodeon
- 1.3 2013–14: Yours Truly and My Everything
- 1.4 2015–present: Touring, Scream Queens, and Dangerous Woman
- 2 Personal life and philanthropy
- 3 Artistry
- 3.1 Musical style and influences
- 3.2 Voice
- 4 Public image
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 Stage
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Discography
- 9 Tours
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Life and career
1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings
Ariana 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, half Sicilian and half Abruzzese. She has experienced hypoglycemia. She has an older half-brother, Frankie Grande, who is an actor, dancer, and producer. Grande’s mother moved with her father from New York to Florida when she was pregnant with her. She has stated that her parents separated 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 and 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.
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.