Artist in Focus: Ariana Grande

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It’s impossible to think of Ariana Grande and not immediately picture that iconic bouncy pony tail, and the latex bunny ears. Grande has certainly made her mark on the music industry as well as proven herself to be an iconic female inspiration. Grande never gave up on the thing she loved, and just look where that got her.

Having started her career performing in local productions and dabbling in Broadway, Grande was keen to get high on the ladder of success. Earning a spot on the Nickelodeon teen show Victorious as ditzy but lovable Cat Valentine, Grande was able to start focusing on her music career. The role enabled her to gain a fanbase, as well as contribute to the vocals on the show. When it was cancelled, it was clear that Grande had become very popular with a loyal fandom, the Arianators, and the same year as the show ended, she was signed by Republic Records. She was ready to ‘Break Free’ from her teen image, something that many felt might hold her back.

2013 saw the release of her first studio album, Yours Truly, which debuted at number one and from here she soared. Attracting the attention of many artists, on her following album releases, Grande made it clear that she had no ‘Problem’ collaborating with other stars, including Nicki Minaj, Calvin Harris and John Legend. With Yours Truly, Grande showed herself to be worthy of awards and praise. One might even call her a ‘Dangerous Woman’ in the music business. She challenged stereotypes, proved her ability and ultimately earned her status as a female icon for all to look up to.

This was only helped by her response to the devastating Manchester terrorist attack that occurred at the end of one of her shows in 2017. The attack, which claimed the lives of 22 people, truly shocked everyone, but whilst some may shrink away and cancel future arrangements, Grande showed the world her strength. Organising a huge benefit concert for the victims and their families, Ariana raised over £17m with the help of some of her fellow artists.

Last year, Grande released her new album Sweetener, which debuted at number one, and featured hit singles including ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ and ‘God is a Woman’. Grande’s manager Scooter Braun commented on the album stating that it was time for her to release, and sing, songs that “defined her”. This new album reinvented Ariana’s image, whilst still maintaining her status as a female icon and inspiration.

Sadly, later on in 2018, Grande’s ex, Mac Miller, was found dead from a drug overdose. This tragedy shocked fans and artists around the world, but perhaps more than anyone, Grande felt the pain. In the face of even more devastation, Grande was able to remain positive by paying tribute to him in ‘thank u, next’.

With a powerful public image, and a growing social media platform, Grande has definitely established herself in this industry. Her appearances on chat shows, such as the viral video of her playing Musical Impressions on Jimmy Kimmel Live, further propelled her fame, truly confirming her place in showbiz. The upcoming 2019 album thank u, next is expected to increase her global success even further, something no one thought was possible.

Ariana Grande takes all the pain and the setbacks she experiences and uses them to make her stronger. Raised in a family that valued hard work, it has become clear that Grande wanted this status as a powerful and successful woman, and she most certainly got it. Along with her ‘7 rings’, otherwise known as awesome girl squad, she shows everyone, on pretty much a daily basis, that she is a ‘dangerous woman’ (in a good way) and that the future is most certainly female. Ariana, we all wish we could have ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’ and as we await the release of your fifth studio album with bated breath, all that’s left to say is ‘thank u, next’.

Sweetener is available now via Republic Records.

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1st year, lover of books, watcher of cheesy rom-coms and listener of any song I can find in my library

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