Ariana Grande is an American singer and actress known for the role of Cat Valentine on Victorious and Sam & Cat.
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Ariana Grande bio
Ariana Grande (born June 26, 1993 as Ariana Grande-Butera) 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 soundtrackMusic 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. Her second studio album, My Everything (2014), also reached number one in the United States. 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, she is promoting My Everything with her first international tour titled The Honeymoon Tour and currently guest-starring in Foxcomedy-horror TV series Scream Queens.
Some of Grande’s accolades include New Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards, Music Business Association‘s Breakthrough Artist of the Year, “Best Pop Video” at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, “Best Song” and “Best Female” at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards.
1993–2008: Early life and career beginnings
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. 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”, 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.
Meanwhile, Nickelodeon created an iCarly and Victorious spin-off starring Jennette McCurdy and Grande. The buddy sitcom, titled Sam & Cat, paired Grande and McCurdy as roommates who form an after-school babysitting business, reprising their respective roles as Cat Valentine from Victorious and Sam Puckett from iCarly. 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 twenty-episode order for season one, making it a forty-episode season. Despite its success in the ratings, the series was canceled. The final episode aired on July 17, 2014.
2013–14: Yours Truly and My Everything
Grande recorded her debut album, Yours Truly, over a three-year period. She completed the album, originally titled Daydreamin, in June 2013; it was released on August 30, 2013. She is credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. In September 2013, it debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart—with 138,000 copies sold in its first week—making Grande the first female artist, since Kesha, to have her first album debut atop of the charts—and the fifteenth female artist overall. Yours Truly also debuted in the top ten in several other countries, including Australia at number six, the UK at number seven, Ireland at number six, and the Netherlands at number five. It also debuted on New Zealand’s top 40 albums chart at number eleven. By April 2014, the album had sold over 500,000 copies in the United States, making it Grande’s first gold album.
The lead single, “The Way” featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at No. 9 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 No. 4 on their list of “Music’s Hottest Minors 2013”, an annual ranking of the most popular musicians under the age of 21. The second single, “Baby I” debuted at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it her second Top 40 hit. The song also debuted at number six on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart, making Grande the only female music artist to debut two songs in the top ten of the Hot Digital Songs chart during the year 2013. The third single, “Right There“, featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, debuted at number 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In the 2013 Nickelodeon film Swindle, an adaptation of the children’s book of the same name, Grande played Amanda Benson, along with her Sam & Cat co-star, Jennette McCurdy. It premiered on Nickelodeon in August. That same month, she lent her vocals on the duet “Almost Is Never Enough” with Nathan Sykes of the British 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 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. Christmas Kisses received critical praise for its “R&B spin” on the Christmas classics.
By January 2014, Grande had begun recording her second studio album, with singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder and record producers Benny Blanco and Max Martin. Grande is also credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. 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 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 because of Brown’s legal problems. Grande received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association, recognizing her achievements throughout 2013, including her No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 with her first album and her top ten single on the Hot 100.
Grande released her second studio album My Everything on August 25, 2014, 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 No. 1 album in the US. 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 No. 3 (eventually climbing to No. 2) on the Billboard Hot 100, and debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grande’s first No. 1 single in the United Kingdom. It made British chart history as the first song to land at No. 1 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 No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. She performed the song at the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, while winning Best Pop Video for her single “Problem.” She also provided guest vocals on “Bang Bang” with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, the lead single from Jessie J’s third studio album Sweet Talker (2014). The song reached No. 3 in the US, Grande’s third song in the Hot 100’s top ten the same week (“Problem”, “Break Free”, and “Bang Bang”). It also went to No.1 in the UK. She joined Adele as the only female artist with three top ten hits simultaneously as a lead artist. Billboard’s review noted that the album is not kid-friendly, like her earlier efforts, and stated:
[S]he has pulled more sounds into her repertoire while keeping her biggest weapon, a remarkable vocal range, as a steady foundation. … My Everything is a less cohesive project than Yours Truly, although its best moments eclipse the highs of Grande’s 2013 debut. The singles “Problem” and “Break Free” remain dizzying dance tunes, and back-to-back solo songs “One Last Time” and “Why Try” possess the types of flawless melodies that are typically reserved for the world’s biggest pop divas. The back half of the album’s many collaborations are hit-or-miss.
On September 27, 2014, Grande was the musical performer on the season 40 premiere of Saturday Night Live—with Chris Pratt hosting. Three days later, the third single from My Everything, “Love Me Harder“, featuring Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven. In November 2014, Grande was featured in Major Lazer’s song “All My Love” which was released as the fourth single 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.” She later released a fifth single from My Everything, “One Last Time“, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. By April 2015, the album had sold over 600,000 copies in the US.
2015: Scream Queens and Moonlight
In early 2015, Grande embarked on her extensive The Honeymoon Tour of North America and Europe, with a few stops in Asia and South America. Following the tour’s early commercial success, 40 more dates were added through October 15, 2015. Reviews of the tour performances have praised Grande’s vocals and ability to convey emotion in the songs but found the concerts to be over-produced: “[S]ome judicious editing would’ve elevated the evening from surprising to satisfying and possibly even shockingly good. As it is, Grande is so busy piling on the spectacle she neglects to highlight the one thing – those deceptively powerful pipes – setting her apart from her contemporaries.” The tour earned $14 million in its first 25 performances, selling 290,699 tickets.
Grande is currently guest-starring as Chanel #2 on the Fox comedy-horror TV series Scream Queens, created by Ryan Murphy, starring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele. Grande also launched a fragrance, “Ari by Ariana Grande”, in September 2015. She is set to appear in the upcoming comedy film Zoolander 2, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Grande filmed an episode for the Fox TV reality series Knock Knock Live, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, but the show was cancelled before Grande’s episode was aired.
In 2015, Grande has been working on her third studio album, Moonlight. She wrote the title track with Victoria Monet. She has signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. Grande released the first single from the album, titled “Focus“, on October 30. She also appears in a duet in Italian with Andrea Bocelli, “E Più Ti Penso”, from his album Cinema, and on the compilation album We Love Disney, covering the song “Zero to Hero” from the film Hercules.
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