Artist Spotlight: Ariana Grande

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Ariana Grande was born in Boca Raton, Florida on June 26, 1993 to Joan Grande, a CEO of Hose-McMann Communications, and Edward Butera, a graphic design firm owner. In between time spent at North Broward Preparatory School, Grande began to work on her musical career. At the age of 8 she performed at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship and later she made her first national television appearance by singing The Star Spangled Banner at a Florida Panthers’ game.

In 2008, Grande was cast in the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the musical 13 on Broadway which got her noticed by executives of Nickelodeon. In 2009 she was cast on the show Victorious on Nickelodeon where she played the role of Cat Valentine, who was a dimwitted but loveable student at a performing arts high school. In 2010, after the first season of Victorious wrapped, Grande began working on her debut album. Monte Lipman, CEO of Republic Records, came across one of her videos where she was singing covers of songs from Adele to Mariah Carey and immediately signed her to a recording contract. Her first single entitled “Put Your Hearts Up” was released in December of 2011 where it was certified Gold by the RIAA. Not forgetting her roots, Grande continued her acting career. On June 8, 2013, she began a new sitcom which was an iCarly and Victorious spin-off entitled Sam & Cat. The premise of the show was about two roommates who form an after school babysitting business. Although the show did well enough in the ratings, it only lasted one year.

During the filming of Sam & Cat, Grande was still working on her music. She released her first studio album entitled ‘Yours Truly’ on August 30, 2013 which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 album’s chart with 138,000 copies sold in its first week. With the album’s success, Grande received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association who recognized her achievements throughout 2013. Not one to rest on her laurels, she released her second studio album entitled ‘My Everything’ on August 25, 2014 which debuted atop the Billboard 200. With success chomping at her heels, Grande decided to seize the moment by embarking on The Honeymoon Tour in February of 2015 with shows in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Grande also began to show that she was more than an entertainer but an entrepreneur as well. In January 2016, she launched a makeup collection with MAC Cosmetics, donating 100% of the proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund and she also launched a fashion line in collaboration with Lipsy London. On May 20, 2016 Grande released her third studio album entitled ‘Dangerous Woman’ which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. With the success of the album, Billboard magazine named her Female Artist of the Year in December 2017. Her fourth studio album, ‘Sweetener’, was released on August 17, 2018 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album earned Grande a Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Album, which was her first. In November 2018, Grande announced that her fifth studio album would be entitled ‘Thank u, Next’ and would be released on February 8, 2019. The lead single, “Thank u, Next” was released on November 3, 2018. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming her first number one single in the United States. In January 2019, it was announced that Grande would be headlining the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and making history by becoming the youngest artist ever to headline the event.

Brianna Walker is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/ Mass Communications major from Natchez, Mississippi. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2018-2019 school year.

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