Ariana Grande is a sitcom-star-turned bona fide pop music sensation, known for such hit songs as "Problem" and "Bang Bang."
Ariana Grande was born in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1993 and began performing onstage when she was young. A role in a Broadway play at age 15, followed by some small TV roles, helped her land the role of Cat on TV's Victorious. She followed that with the spinoff Sam & Cat and then dove headfirst into a musical career. Her first two albums were hits, with the latter, My Everything, debuting at No. 1. Her popularity has been fueled by a strong online presence, which cuts through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with equal force.
Ariana Grande was born on June 26, 1993, in Boca Raton, Florida, to a graphic-designer father and CEO mother. She took to singing and acting at a young age and made her way onto the local theater scene before she was a teenager. Her first big break came in 2008, when the 15-year-old landed the role of Charlotte in the Broadway production of 13, a play focusing on life growing up in New York City. The early role led to accolades, and Grande won a National Youth Theatre Association Award.
Two years later, she appeared in the musical Cuba Libre and had a small role on a TV show called The Battery’s Down. But that was all it took for Grande to land a meaty role on the new Nickelodeon series Victorious.
Victorious was set at a performing arts high school, and Grande was cast as a goofy aspiring singer-actress named Cat Valentine. While busy with the show, Grande nevertheless pursued a musical career, making her first appearance on a record with the Victorious soundtrack. And in 2011, Grande released the single "Put Your Hearts Up," a pop song aimed at the hearts of her young Victorious audience, one that voted Victorious Favorite TV Show at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards.
When Victorious went off the air in 2012, Grande had the good fortune of having Cat Valentine survive. She went on to form half of the core of a new Nick show called Sam & Cat, co-starring iCarly’s Jennette McCurdy. Sam & Cat wasn’t on long when rumors began to swirl that Grande wasn’t particularly enjoying the experience, and the show came to an abrupt end after 35 episodes (2013-14). Meanwhile, Grande’s 2013 single “The Way” made it into the top 10 in the United States and went triple platinum, showing that music might represent her future path.
“The Way” was the first single from Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly, a record that also featured the hits "Baby I" and "Right There." The album, produced by super-producer Babyface, showed a maturing Grande, and 1990s soul influences such as Mariah Carey were evident. The 2014 release My Everything sold 169,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 1. The album was preceded by the single “Problem,” featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, which debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, selling more than 400,000 copies upon its release. “Break Free” and “Love Me Harder” followed, each climbing toward the top of the charts.
During the summer of 2014, Grande teamed up with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj on the single “Bang Bang,” a track that debuted at No. 6 and peaked at No. 3 in the United States.
Causes & Digital Prowess
When Grande isn’t busy recording hit songs, she is involved with Kids Who Care, a group that raises money for charities in the South Florida region. She also has cultivated a huge online presence, leading the Huffington Post to list her as the third most influential actress online, coming in above the ubiquitous Miley Cyrus. To date, she has more than 21 million Twitter followers, 23 million Facebook likes and hundreds of millions of YouTube views.