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Ariana Grande
Full Name
Ariana Grande-Butera
Nickname(s)
Ariana Grande
Ari, Riri, Lil' Red, Oreo (by Jennette McCurdy)
Strawberry Monster (by Frankie Grande)
Gender
Female
Birthplace
Boca Raton, Florida
Birthdate
June 26th, 1993 (age 24)
Occupation(s)
Actress
Singer-songwriter
Years Active
2008-present

Ariana Grande-Butera (b. June 26, 1993), better known as Ariana Grande, is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She plays Catarina "Cat" Valentine in Victorious and Sam & Cat.

Early life Edit

Ariana Grande-Butera was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. She is the daughter of Joan Grande, CEO of Hose-McCann Communications, and Edward Butera, a graphic designer. Her elder half-brother Frankie is an actor, dancer and producer, and a contestant on season sixteen of Big Brother. She is of Italian descent, "half Sicilian and half Abruzzese." Growing up, she took part in children's and community theater and attended North Broward Preparatory School.

Career Edit

2008–12: Beginnings and Victorious Edit

In 2008, Grande played the role of 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. In 2010, she created the original role of Miriam in the reading of the new musical, Cuba Libre, written and produced by Desmond Child. That same year, beginning in March, Grande starred as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television show Victorious. In 2011, Grande voiced an animated fairy, Princess Diaspro, on the Nickelodeon series Winx Club. She also starred as Snow White along with Charlene Tilton and Neil Patrick Harris in the Pasadena Playhouse production of a pantomime, A Snow White Christmas, in December 2012.

In August 2012, it was announced that Victorious was ending its run. However, during Nickelodeon's presentation at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on August 3, they announced a spinoff called Sam & Cat, which would pair Grande from Victorious and Jennette McCurdy from iCarly together in a traditional "buddy sitcom" setting, where they would reprise their roles as Cat Valentine and Sam Puckett. The show was picked up by the network on November 29, 2012. On July 11, 2013, a few weeks after the show's June 8 premiere, Nickelodeon doubled Sam & Cat's original twenty-episode order for season one, making it a forty-episode season. Despite being a ratings success for the network, the series was canceled on July 13, 2014 due to Grande's rising musical career and behind-the-scenes conflict. The finale aired on July 17.

Grande sang as a soloist in various symphonies, such as South Florida’s Philharmonic, Pops and Symphonic Orchestras. She has sung various times in NYC's Birdland. Grande performed a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the first-ever broadcast of the national anthem for the Florida Panthers NHL hockey team. Grande has performed covers of songs such as Mariah Carey's "Emotions" and "All I Want for Christmas Is You", and Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me." The third and final soundtrack for Victorious was released on November 6, 2012, titled as Victorious 3.0. The first single was called "LA Boyz" (which was performed by Grande and Justice) and the music video was released October 18, 2012. In 2012, Grande also sang a duet with Mika on the single version of his track "Popular Song".

2013–14: Musical breakthrough with Yours Truly Edit

On March 26, 2013, Grande's first single from her debut album, "The Way" featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, was released. "The Way" sold over 120,000 units in the first 48 hours and went on to sell over 219,000 units in its opening week; the third best first-week sales figure of 2013, behind Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" and One Direction's "Best Song Ever". "The Way" debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week ending in April 5, 2013, marking the first top ten arrival for a lead female artist making her first Hot 100 appearance since 2008. The single has since sold two million copies in the United States and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA. Grande was eventually sued by Minder Music for allegedly copying lyrics from the 1972 song "Troglodyte" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch in the song. "Baby I" and "Right There", featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, were also released as singles from Yours Truly. Grande completed her debut studio album, Yours Truly, in June 2013; it was released on September 2, 2013 in the United Kingdom and a day later in the United States. Yours Truly officially debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart with 138,000 copies sold in its first week, becoming Grande's first number-one album as a solo artist. This made her the fifteenth female artist to have their first album debut atop of the charts, and the first since Kesha with Animal in 2010. Yours Truly reached the top 10 in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands. Following the release of the album, Grande was ranked number four on the Billboard list of "Music's Hottest Minors in 2013."

Swindle, an adaptation of the novel of the same name, by Gordon Korman, saw Grande play Amanda Benson along with Sam & Cat co-star Jennette McCurdy, and premiered on Nickelodeon in August. Grande performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, on Dancing with the Stars with Mika and at the American Music Awards, where she won the award for New Artist Of The Year and was the most mentioned artist on Twitter of the night, having been mentioned in 231,966 tweets. Her performance of her hit "The Way" and her song "Tattooed Heart" earned praise from celebrities like Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga, and she was hailed by the press for her high vocal range. Preceding the release of her Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses in December, she gave a series of performances, including at the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC New York's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting broadcast, the KIIS-FM Jingle Ball in Los Angeles' Staples Center and Z100's Jingle Ball event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She also sang at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, with Big Sean and Mac Miller.

2014–present: My Everything Edit

In January 2014, Grande confirmed reports that recording had begun for her second studio album and she had been working with Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco. On March 4, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Grande to sing at the White House concert, "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House" on March 6. It was designed to celebrate what the White House describes as great "foremothers" of American music, with songs exploring the struggles and achievements of women. Grande also performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 21. In addition, she received the 2014 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award from the Music Business Association. The award recognized Grande's achievements over 2013, including a number one debut on the Billboard charts with her first album, Yours Truly, and a double platinum, Top 10 single with "The Way".

In late March 2014, Grande confirmed that she had completed her second studio album. The lead single from the album is "Problem" and features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. It premièred at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards on April 27 and sold 438,000 downloads in its first week, making Grande the youngest woman to debut with more than 400,000 downloads. On the Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at No. 3 (peaking at No. 2) and became Grande's second single to debut in the top ten, her first being "The Way", and her second top ten single overall. Further, the song was noted for being the highest debut ever for a collaboration of female soloists. On July 6, Grande earned a place in UK chart history when "Problem" landed at No. 1 on the first Official Singles Chart based on sales and streams. This was also her debut Top 40 hit in the UK. The second single, titled "Break Free", features Russian-German producer Zedd and premiered on July 2 on a special reunion broadcasting of Total Request Live, titled Total Ariana Live. During the broadcast, the hashtag #TotalArianaLive trended as number one in the United States. On June 28, 2014, Grande announced the title of her second studio album to be My Everything, which was released on August 25.

Artistry Edit

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 Carey and 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 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. 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".

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.

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.

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 also described singer Whitney Houston as the reason why she began singing, as well as citing Brandy Norwood as an influence, noting her "riffs" in particular.

Personal life Edit

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.

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."

Philanthropy Edit

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.

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