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, the Brooklyn-born CEO of Hose-McCann Communications, a manufacturer of communications and safety equipment, and Edward Butera, a graphic design firm owner in Boca Raton. Grande is of Italian descent, and she refers to herself as an Italian American, "half Sicilian and half Abruzzese". Her name was inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat: The Movie. She has an older half-brother, Frankie Grande, an entertainer and producer, and she has a close relationship with her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Grande. Grande's family moved from New York to Florida when her mother was pregnant with her, and 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 the title character in Annie. She also performed 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 and with various orchestras such as South Florida's Philharmonic, Florida Sunshine Pops and Symphonic Orchestras, and she made her first national television appearance 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: "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 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.
2009–2012: Breakthrough on Nickelodeon
Grande was cast in the Nickelodeon television show Victorious along with 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies in 2009. In this sitcom, set in a performing arts high school, Grande played the "adorably dimwitted" Cat Valentine. She had to dye her hair red every other week for the role because the executive producer, Dan Schneider, did not want all the 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 premiered in March 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". The second season premiered in April 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, 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 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 recorded for a teen-oriented pop album that was not issued. 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 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.
On a second soundtrack for Victorious, Victorious 2.0, released on June 5, 2012, as an extended play, Grande supplied vocals for a cover of "Don't You (Forget About Me)". After three seasons, Victorious was not renewed. The finale aired in February 2013. The third and final Victorious soundtrack, Victorious 3.0, was released on November 6, 2012, featuring Grande duetting with Victoria Justice in the song "L.A. Boyz". A music video of the song followed. In December 2012, Grande collaborated on the single version of "Popular Song", a duet with British singer and songwriter Mika. She also starred 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. Grande played Amanda Benson in Swindle, a 2013 Nickelodeon film adaptation of the children's book of the same name.
Meanwhile, Nickelodeon created Sam & Cat, an iCarly and Victorious spin-off starring Jennette McCurdy and Grande. Grande and McCurdy reprised their respective roles as Cat Valentine and Sam Puckett on the buddy sitcom, which paired the characters as roommates who form an after-school babysitting business. 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 20-episode order for season one, making it a 40-episode season. Despite its success in the ratings, the series was canceled after 36 episodes. The final episode aired on July 17, 2014.
2013–2015: Yours Truly and My Everything
Grande performing in 2013 at 93.3 FLZ
Grande recorded her first studio album Yours Truly, originally titled Daydreamin', over a three-year period. It was released on August 30, 2013 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, with 138,000 copies sold in its first week. Yours Truly also debuted in the top ten in several other countries, including Australia, the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The lead single "The Way", featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at number nine for two weeks. Grande was later 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. The album's second single, "Baby I", was released in July. Its third single, "Right There", featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, was released in August. They respectively peaked at number 21 and 84 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Grande recorded the duet "Almost Is Never Enough" with Nathan Sykes of The Wanted, which was released as promotional single in August 2013. She also joined Justin Bieber on his Believe Tour for three shows and kicked off her own headlining mini-tour, The Listening Sessions. The following month, 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. 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. Grande received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association, recognizing her achievements throughout 2013. By January 2014, Grande had begun recording 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 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.
Grande released her second studio album My Everything on August 25, 2014 and debuted atop the Billboard 200. 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. The album's second single, "Break Free", featuring German musician and producer Zedd, peaked at number four in the United States. She performed the song as the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and won Best Pop Video for "Problem". Grande and Nicki Minaj provided guest vocals on "Bang Bang", the lead single from Jessie J's album Sweet Talker, which peaked at number one in the UK and reached number three in the US. With the singles "Problem", "Break Free", and "Bang Bang", Grande joined Adele as the only female artist with three top ten singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist.
Grande was the musical performer on Saturday Night Live, with Chris Pratt as the host on September 27, 2014. That same month, third single from My Everything, "Love Me Harder", featuring Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, was released and peaked at number seven in the United States. The song became her fourth top ten single of 2014, the most by any artist that year. In November 2014, Grande was featured in Major Lazer's song "All My Love" 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" from her Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses. She later released the fifth and final single from My Everything, "One Last Time", which peaked at number 13 in the US.
In February 2015, Grande embarked on The Honeymoon Tour, with shows in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Grande was featured on Cashmere Cat's song "Adore", which was released in March 2015. In the spring, she signed an exclusive publishing contract with Universal Music Publishing Group covering her entire catalog. Grande also filmed an episode for the Fox television reality series Knock Knock Live, but the show was canceled before her episode aired, and guest-starred on several episodes of the Fox comedy-horror television series Scream Queens as Sonya Herfmann/Chanel #2 from September to November 2015. She recorded the duet "E Più Ti Penso" with Italian recording artist Andrea Bocelli, which was released in October 2015 as the lead single from his album Cinema, and covered the song "Zero to Hero" from the film Hercules for the compilation album We Love Disney. Grande also released her second Christmas EP, Christmas & Chill in December 2015.
2016–2017: Dangerous Woman
Grande began recording songs for her third studio album, Dangerous Woman, originally titled Moonlight, in 2015. In October of that year, she released the single "Focus", initially intended as the lead single from the album; the song debuted at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. In January 2016, she launched collaborated makeup collection with MAC Cosmetics, donating 100% of proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund, and launched a fashion line in collaboration with Lipsy London. The following month, Grande made a cameo appearance in the comedy film Zoolander 2 starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
In March 2016, Grande released "Dangerous Woman" as the lead single from the retitled album of the same name. The single debuted at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first artist to have the lead single from each of her first three albums debut in the top ten. The same month, Grande appeared as host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live, where she performed "Dangerous Woman" and debuted the promotional single "Be Alright", which charted at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. Grande garnered positive reviews for her appearance on the show, including praise for her impressions of various singers, some of which she had done on The Tonight Show. Grande won an online voting poll on Entertainment Weekly as the "best host of the season". In May 2016, Grande appeared on The Voice season 10 finale, performing the second single from the album, "Into You", which peaked at number 13 in the United States, and duetted with Christina Aguilera on "Dangerous Woman".
Grande released Dangerous Woman on May 20, 2016 and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. It also debuted at number two in Japan, and at number one in several other markets, including Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and UK. Mark Savage, writing for BBC News, called the album "a mature, confident record". At the Summertime Ball at London's Wembley Stadium in June, Grande performed three songs from the album as part of her set. In August, Grande released a third single from the album, "Side to Side", featuring rapper Nicki Minaj, her eighth top ten entry on the Hot 100, which peaked at number four on that chart. Dangerous Woman was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album and the title track for Best Pop Solo Performance.
In August 2016, Grande performed a tribute to Whitney Houston on the season finale of the ABC television series Greatest Hits and headlined the opening night of the second annual Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, performing a nearly hour-long set of her own songs. Aside from music, Grande filmed a commercial for T-Mobile that premiered in October 2016 and played Penny Pingleton in the NBC television broadcast Hairspray Live!, which aired in December 2016. The same month, Grande and Stevie Wonder appeared on the season finale of The Voice performing their collaboration "Faith", from the soundtrack of the 2016 film Sing, which was nominated for Best Original Song at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. At the end of the year, she participated in the Jingle Ball Tour 2016.
Grande recorded the title track of the soundtrack for the 2017 live-action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast with John Legend, which was released in February 2017. The same month, Grande embarked on her third concert tour Dangerous Woman Tour to promote her album. On May 22, after her concert at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in the foyer of the arena, causing 23 fatalities and more than 500 injuries. Grande suspended the remainder of the tour and held a televised benefit concert One Love Manchester on June 4, helping to raise $23 million to aid the bombing victims and affected families. The concert featured performances from Grande, as well as Liam Gallagher, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and other artists. To recognize her efforts, the City Council named Grande the first honorary citizen of Manchester. The tour resumed on June 7 in Paris and ended in September 2017. In August 2017, she appeared in an Apple Music Carpool Karaoke episode, singing musical theatre songs with Seth MacFarlane, and became a brand ambassador for Reebok. Grande has released five fragrances with Luxe Brands since 2015 and had grossed over $150 million in global sales by 2017. In December 2017, Billboard magazine named her "Female Artist of the Year".
2018–present: Sweetener and Thank U, Next
Grande began working on songs for her fourth studio album, Sweetener, with Pharrell Williams in 2016, but "the events in Manchester gave a hard reset to the project's expectations". Grande released "No Tears Left to Cry" as the lead single from Sweetener on April 20, 2018. The song debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and made Grande the only artist to have debuted the first single from each of her first four albums in the top ten of the Hot 100. Sweetener was made available for pre-order on June 20, 2018, along with the promotional single "The Light Is Coming", featuring rapper Nicki Minaj. The second single, "God Is a Woman", peaked at number 8 on the Hot 100 and became Grande's tenth top ten single in the US.
Released on August 17, 2018, Sweetener debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and received acclaim from critics. The album also earned Grande her first Grammy Award, for Best Pop Vocal Album, at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Grande gave four concerts to promote the album, billed as The Sweetener Sessions, at New York City's Irving Plaza, The Vic Theatre in Chicago, Ace Theater in Los Angeles, and KOKO in London between August 20 and September 4, 2018. In October 2018, Grande participated in the NBC broadcast, A Very Wicked Halloween, singing "The Wizard and I" from the musical Wicked. The following month, the BBC aired a one-hour special, Ariana Grande at the BBC, including interviews and performances.
In November 2018, Grande announced that her fifth studio album would be titled Thank U, Next. The lead single, "Thank U, Next", was released on November 3, 2018. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Grande's first number one single in the United States. It was quickly certified platinum in the United States, and the song's music video broke records for most-watched music video on YouTube within 24 hours of release and fastest Vevo video to reach 100 million views on YouTube. On Spotify, the song became the fastest song to reach 100 million streams in 11 days and most-streamed song by a female artist in a 24-hour period with 9.6 million streams, before it was surpassed by her own song "7 Rings" with nearly 15 million streams. Later the same month, Grande released, in collaboration with YouTube, a four-part docuseries titled Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries. It shows behind the scenes and concert footage from Grande's Dangerous Woman Tour, including moments from the One Love Manchester concert, and follows her professional life during the tour and the making of Sweetener. The series debuted on November 29, 2018.
In January 2019, it was announced that Grande will be headlining the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Grande will become the youngest artist ever to headline and just the fourth female headliner of the festival. It is set to take place from April 12–14 and April 19–21. Grande's second single from Thank U, Next, "7 Rings", was released on January 18, 2019, and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of February 2, becoming her second single in a row (and overall) to top the charts. It also made Grande the third female artist with multiple number-one debuts after Mariah Carey (3) and Britney Spears (2) and fifth artist overall after Justin Bieber and Drake. The song broke several streaming and recording industry records. Thank U, Next was released on February 8, 2019 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 while receiving acclaim from critics. It broke the records for the largest streaming week for a pop album and for a female album in the United States with 307 million on-demand streams.
Grande became the first solo artist to occupy the top three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 with "7 Rings" at number one, her third single "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" debuting at number two, and her lead single "Thank U, Next" rose to number three, and the overall second artist to do so since the Beatles did in 1964 when they occupied the top five spots. In the United Kingdom, Grande became the second female solo artist to simultaneously hold the number one and two spots and the first musical artist to replace herself at number one, twice consecutively. On February 20, 2019, Grande won a Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist. She also embarked on her third headlining tour, the Sweetener World Tour, to promote both Sweetener and Thank U, Next, which began on March 18, 2019.