Celebrity Spotlight: Ariana Grande
Our Celebrity Spotlight is shining light on Ariana Grande, a multi-talented music celebrity who catapulted onto the world stage nearly a decade ago. She is a three time American Music Award winner and has received four Grammy nominations. Three of her albums have achieved certified platinum status. Also, Time Magazine named her as one of the most influential people of 2016. Today, we focus on the life and career of this impressive young starlet. (Image Credit/ Marco Lo Russo)
Ariana Grande had a destiny in the entertainment industry from a very young age. She cut her acting teeth in children’s theater in the south Florida area. She developed quite a following in the region, singing with the South Florida Philharmonic and performing the National Anthem for the Florida Panthers. In 2008, at the age of 15, she was cast in the Broadway musical, 13. Her supporting role as Charlotte earned her a National Youth Theatre Association Award. Yet, the young singer had bigger plans.
Ariana Grande’s first big Hollywood break was in Victorious. She played Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon comedy from 2010 to 2013. The show was an immediate hit and did well in the ratings. Following its cancellation, the network gave Ariana Grande and iCarly veteran, Jennette McCurdy a crossover spin-off. While Sam & Cat delighted its young audience, the network cancelled it after only 36 episodes. However, Ariana Grande’s success on both shows elevated her to teen celebrity status.
A vibrant music career
Throughout her stint on Nickelodeon, Ariana Grande recorded herself singing covers of many hits of the day. These musical YouTube postings garnered much attention, most importantly from a studio executive. He immediate saw her talent and signed her to a record deal. Since this discovery, Ariana Grande has released four albums including: Yours Truly (2013), My Everything (2014), Dangerous Woman (2016) and Sweetener (2018).
Ariana Grande’s vocal talents regularly receive high praise. Though she is small of stature, her voice is certainly mighty. She has an incredibly wide vocal range. Often, people draw comparisons to the impressive range of Mariah Carey. Also, she is an incredible mimic of other famous musical celebrities like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera.
Flirting again with the acting bug
Although she is at the top of her game in the music world, Ariana Grande still keeps her feet wet in Hollywood. In 2015, she was in a few episodes of the sensational show, Scream Queens. Also, like many of her fellow celebrities, she had a small role in the star-studded Zoolander 2. But most notably, she let her acting and singing talents shine in the 2016 NBC live adaptation of the musical Hairspray. The singer/actress was cast as Penny Pingleton, the best friend of the protagonist, Tracy Turnblad.
Queen of the collaboration
Ariana Grande’s music career may be young but she has already had a storied career with collaborations. She has shared the studio and stage with some of the biggest names in music. She has lent her vocals to Jessie J and Iggy Azalea’s respective albums. Among others, she has dueted with Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Miley Cyrus, and Pharrell Williams. But impressively, she has even performed with famous singers from other genres. In 2015, Andrea Bocelli asked her to sing with him for his album. Ariana Grande also sang with music icon Stevie Wonder for the soundtrack of the movie, Sing!
Focus on philanthropy
Ariana Grande is quite philanthropic. Before becoming a famous celebrity, she founded a singing group, Kids Who Care, that raised funds for various charities. She was only 10 years old at the time! She and her half-brother, Frankie Grande, traveled to South Africa to teach music and dance to children. Ariana Grande participates in Hollywood’s Stand Up to Cancer charity. MAC Cosmetics partnered with the singer to create a line of lipsticks that benefits people affected by HIV and AIDS. Also, she added her vocals to the Concert for Charlottesville.
However, one of her most amazing acts of charity was following a horrific tragedy. On May 22, 2017, a terrorist attack took place while attendees were leaving her Dangerous Woman concert in Manchester, England. Twenty two victims died and 139 people were wounded, many of which were children. Following the attack, Ariana Grande visited many of the survivors in the hospital. Immediately, she also began planning a benefit concert. On June 4, 2017, One Love Manchester raised $13 million with the help of Ariana Grande and many other famous performers, including superstars Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Coldplay. Notably, the charity event was named the best concert of 2017.
Whirlwind romance and love
In March 2016, Ariana Grande was the host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live. Of course, she dazzled audiences with her singing. But she also proved her mettle as an actress with a great sense of comedic timing. She gelled well with the cast and put on a great show.
Earlier this year, this powerhouse celebrity began dating Pete Davidson, who she met while on SNL. The two quickly fell in love and announced their engagement in June 2018.
Ariana Grande has called California home since she relocated to Hollywood nearly a decade ago. But Pete Davidson is a lifelong New York City resident. The celebrity pair purchased a posh apartment in the city after announcing their engagement.
Ariana Grande’s newest studio album, Sweetener, just dropped on August 17. We anticipate this album will be just as successful as her previous ones. Also, the corresponding tour for Sweetener will be a change for the talented singer. Ariana Grande aims to make this Sweetener tour more intimate. Instead of playing to packed arenas and stadiums, the singer will be performing in smaller theaters. These Sweetener Sessions begin on August 20. Break a leg, Ariana!