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Music / Ariana Grande

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Some days
Things just take
Way too much of my energy
I look up and the whole room's spinning
You take my cares away
I can so over-complicate
People tell me to medicate

Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993) is an American singer and actor. She first gained mainstream recognition for her roles in Victorious, 13 and the Victorious/iCarly Spin-Off Sam & Cat and since 2014 for constant appearances in the pop charts (to the degree where some people are actually surprised she started as an actor).

Ariana previously had a Youtube channel, where she showed off her musical talent, a Twitter account, a Facebook, and an Instagram. She used to do a UStream every Friday, but had to stop during 2013 (some fans snarkily suggested that this was because she had a bad habit of accidentally revealing her phone number during said streams).

Ariana's half-brother Frankie Grande was a houseguest on the sixteenth season of the US Big Brother. Ariana herself returned to TV in 2015 with Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens, and in December 2016 she played Penny on NBC's live presentation of Hairspray. She returned to film acting with 2021’s Don’t Look Up.

She is also the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the city of Manchester in 2017, in recognition of her fundraising efforts following the infamous terrorist bombing which occurred at one of her concerts in the city. In the spring of 2021, she married real estate broker Dalton Gomez.


Notable acting roles:

Just keep tropin', and tropin', and tropin':

  • Action Girl: In the "Break Free" video, where she destroys robots with missiles from her top and overthrows an evil extraterrestrial emperor with her chains.
  • Adam Westing: Made guest appearances as herself in various videos on several times, while at the same time portraying the personality of The Ditz Cat Valentine. The cast members even get confused over whether she was playing Ariana or Cat.
  • Album Closure: Positions ends with a somber and soulful ballad, "pov"note , after an album full of upbeat and pop-R&B tracks.
  • Ambiguous Ending: While the theme of "Problem" is pretty straightforward (Ariana singing about someone who she is still in love with, but knows is bad for her and won't change no matter what) it's never made abundantly clear if she takes her own advice to break it off, or if she can't help herself and ends up taking her ex back.
  • all lowercase letters: Starting from the album Sweetener and onwards, all of her tracks are formatted this way, with a few exceptions being "R.E.M" and "God is a woman" from the Sweetener album and "NASA" from the Thank U, Next album.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Frequently performs wearing cat ears, playing up her The Cutie image, and as a nod to her Star-Making Role as Cat. She wears mouse ears while performing her song "Problem" at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards and she wore cat ears in "Love Me Harder" music video.
  • Animal Motifs: Her career was previously associated with cats but it has since been replaced by rabbits. Which was shown in the music video for "Dangerous Woman", rabbit ears are also connected to her and the fanbase and finally the "One Love" concert had rabbit ears in the logo. She was also a playable character in the game Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and her avatar was her wearing her signature rabbit mask.
  • Ascended Fangirl: She was a huge fan of Wicked and Kristin Chenoweth before being cast to play Glinda in the film version of the musical.
  • Badass Boast: "God is a woman." A whole song about how her prowess in bed will have her partner thinking he just experienced God. Overlaps with Blasphemous Boast.
  • Big "NO!":
    • She pulls this off at the end of the bridge from "Focus".
    • She is featured in a sketch on MTV's Nikki and Sara where she is hired to sing bad news to the duo's employees. After wanting to leave due to her feeling uncomfortable, she does this after the two girls' attempts to get her to stay, all in song, and ends with a regular spoken "no". You can view it here.
    • Also counts as a Hilarious in Hindsight moment as Cat does the exact same thing in an episode of Victorious.
  • Boastful Rap: Has several self-aggrandizing songs over the years, but "7 rings" has her rapping about her wealth.
  • Bodyguard Crush: In the "Into You" music video, Ariana's Love Interest is part of her security.
  • Body Paint: The "God Is A Woman" music video features a nude Ariana laying in a pool of pastel paint, with only some artfully placed streaks of paint on her chest to preserve her modesty.
  • Break Up Demand: "Break Up With Your Girlfriend" is obviously this, but with the Twist Ending, in that she's demanding the guy breaks up with his girlfriend, so she can be with her.
  • Break-Up Song: "thank u, next" is a break-up song too but a more positive version - thanking the various exes for the lessons they taught her.
  • The Cameo:
  • Casting Gag: In the "thank u, next" video, Jonathan Bennett and Jennifer Coolidge cameo as their roles as Aaron Samuels and Paulette Bonafonte in the segments paying homage to those films.
  • Celebrity Break-Up Song: Invoked in the lyrics of "thank u, next", which directly reference her break-ups with Big Sean, Pete Davidson, and Mac Miller.
  • Cover Version: "Beauty And The Beast" for the 2017 remake (with John Legend), and "Goodnight & Go" (originally by Imogen Heap) for her 2018 album Sweetener, also "Don't Dream It's Over" as a duet for Miley Cyrus's Happy Hippie Project - reprised at the One Love Manchester benefit concert in 2017.
  • Covered in Gunge: She got slimed a couple of times as a panelist on the Nickelodeon game show Figure It Out.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She recorded several different versions of the opening verse to "thank u, next" as her relationship with Pete Davidson was fluctuating a lot and she didn't know what its status would be when the song was released.
  • The Cutie: Her persona from before and during Yours Truly was basically adorable personified. Starting with My Everything, she's started moving in a direction that emphasizes more sexiness and less cuteness.
  • Darker and Edgier: Her entire post-Nickelodeon career compared to what she did and what she's most associated with for that network.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In her song with Mika, "Popular Song", Ariana turns Mika into a statue because he knocked over a block tower she made when they were children. Long time to hold a grudge.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She often opts for a barefoot look in her video clips.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: At the end of "34+35", as the song fades out, she gives away the obvious joke about the title.
    Means I wanna 69 with you
    No shit
    Math class
    Never was good
  • Doppelgänger Dating: "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" shows Grande's ex-boyfriend with a very similar-looking new girlfriend identical to Grande, same fashion style, ponytail and all.
  • Double Entendre:
    • "Love Me Harder". Does she want stronger emotional love or physical love?
    • The album Positions has a ton of them. The album's title should be a giveaway.
    • The song "34+35". Do the math.
  • Due to the Dead: "thank u, next" has a tribute to Mac Miller, who passed away of an accidental overdose after they broke up.
    "Wish I could say 'thank you' to Malcolm/Cause he was an angel..."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Yours Truly is far more upbeat than usual. Although 90s R&B is a prominent influence on her discography as a whole, it's far more pronounced here. Almost all the songs are Silly Love Songs, with "The Way" being one of the only songs that hint at the Hotter and Sexier direction of subsequent releases. My Everything is a transitional album that's edgier than Yours Truly but still, for the most part, tamer than the rest of her discography due to it having been released only a month after Sam & Cat was cancelled.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: "Baby I" is about not being able to find the right words to tell someone how much you love them.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The video for "One Last Time" places her in such a setting.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: For a holiday concert in 2013, she wore a white mini Happy Holidays Dress trimmed with white feathers.
  • Friend to All Children
  • Genre Shift: It was gradual, but Positions finally sees a mostly Contemporary R&B album from Ariana, shifting from straightforward pop.
  • Genre Throwback: Many of her songs are throwbacks to 90's R&B.
  • Goth: The overall theme for the music video of Popular Song with Mika.
  • Grief Song: "ghostin'" from thank u, next for Mac Miller.
  • Guest Fighter: She shows up as a playable character in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Yes, seriously. Somewhat justified in that she sings the theme song (an orchestrated remaster of "Touch It") for the game.
  • Heavy Meta: "Piano" is an uplifting song meant to bring lovers together, which happens to be about Ariana wanting to write an uplifting song that brings lovers together.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: The song "Boyfriend" with Social House comes off as this, as the female protagonist sings about how even though they're not dating, she doesn't want him with anybody else either.
  • Hidden Depths:
  • High Heel Hurt: Has mentioned in interviews that her feet hurt badly after concerts. It stands to reason, given she's spending hours dancing in stilettos.
  • Homage: Her music video for "Break Free" features homages to Barbarella, Star Wars and Gravity.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
  • Ariana has come a long way, compare her Victorious days and "The Way" to the music videos for "positions" and "34+35", which are explicitly about sex.
  • Homage:
    • The "thank u, next" video pays homage to and casts Grande as the leads of a few female-led films of the 2000s.
    • To Mean Girls: Grande plays Regina George, the opening is a send-up of the Regina George rumor scene, the Burn Book is a diary of the exes mentioned in the song, and the Make Way for the Princess and Jingle Bell Rock scenes are performed.
    • Bring It On: Grande is Torrance Shipman, and the cheer routine and brush-off scenes are reenacted.
    • To 13 Going on 30: Grande is Jenna Rinks mooning over the dollhouse, which segues directly into...
    • Legally Blonde: Grande is Elle Woods stepping out of her car with her dog. The "Bend and Snap" scene is reenacted, along with her exercising on an elliptical.
  • Iconic Outfit: Sleeveless, midriff-baring top, tied-up high ponytail, mini-skirt and high heels = Ariana Grande.
  • Intercourse with You:
  • From My Everything, "Love Me Harder" makes this even more obvious with stronger innuendos and her seductive-sounding voice. "Hands on me" is pretty obvious: "skirt off, keep the high heels on/might be a little thing, but I like that long, yeah."
  • Plenty of the songs on Dangerous Woman allude to sex, but "Dangerous Woman", "Into You" are the ones that are most clearly "I wanna have intercourse with you" songs. "Side to Side" is confirmed as being about getting railed so hard she can't walk properly.
  • Everything on Positions.
  • Laugh of Love: She's frequently giggling and laughing around her Love Interest in the video for "Into You".
  • Let's Duet: Her and Ty Dolla $ign in "Safety Net"
  • Let There Be Snow: "Snow in California" is about Ariana asking for snow so her Love Interest's flight back home gets canceled and he can stay with her for Christmas.
  • Lingerie Scene: The "Dangerous Woman" video is basically one long example of this.
  • LOL, 69: In her song "34+35" off the album positions, many fans did the math and noticed that those particular numbers added up to 69...
    "Fuck me 'til the daylight / Thirty-four, thirty-five..."
  • Love Is Like Religion: The track "God Is A Woman" features religious undertones and boasts in where a woman brags to her lover that she'll be so great, he'll believe "God is a Woman".
  • Love Triangle: "break up with your girlfriend, I'm bored" features Grande in a love triangle between her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: As Grande notes during the making of "34+35", it sounds like a Disney orchestra but the lyrics are really sexually explicit in contrast to the song's instrumental.
    Ariana: "I just think it's ridiculous, so funny and stupid. We heard the strings that sounded so Disney and orchestral, and full and pure. And I was just like, "Yo, what's the dirtiest possible, most opposing lyric that we could write to this?"
  • Melismatic Vocals: She's been compared to Mariah Carey for her ability to stretch a syllable through her impressive upper register.
  • Moment of Silence: "get well soon" has about 40 seconds of silence at the end of the track, which is generally considered a tribute to the victims of the bombing at her 2017 Manchester concert. (Notably, the song's length including the silence is exactly 5:22, and the attack occurred on May 22.)
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is a very beautiful woman who tends to wear outfits that show off her nice body and legs. While she is always attractive, she is especially this trope in the music videos for "Love Me Harder" and "Dangerous Woman" because of the way she looks and moves in those videos.
  • New Sound Album: Dangerous Woman is much more mature than her two previous albums, and a few songs have a rock edge to them, most notably the guitar solo in "Dangerous Woman" and the backing riffs in "Into You".
  • Non-Appearing Title: "7 rings", though she mentions that she "Bought matching diamonds for six of my bitches".
  • Non-Indicative Name: Or Ironic Name, as well. "Grande" translates to "large". And she is tiny, only 5 feet tall.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Had this reaction during a stream when Jennette accidentally revealed Ariana's phone number.
    • And later on, she did it to herself. Fans had a collective Here We Go Again! moment.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Put Your Hearts Up" (mind you, she absolutely hates this song) and "no tears left to cry".
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: She had been accused of culture appropriation, heavy tanning to appear more dark and using African-American vernacular since the beginning of her career. Recently, people have accused her of appropriating West Asian looks.
  • Opening Scroll: "Break Free" is filmed like a sci-fi B-Movie, including an over-the-top opening scroll.
  • Pink Is Erotic: Ariana Grande has used a pink color scheme and aesthetic in her music videos to emphasize sex appeal.
  • Precision F-Strike: Dangerous Woman has “Bad Decisions”. The entire album Thank U Next. And two songs from Positions (Positions and 34 + 35)
  • Retraux: In the lyric and official music videos for "Problem", the lyric video was set with a retro style from 1960s art movement containing a black, white, and old-fashioned aesthetic and opens on a sparkling figure where Grande appears in a sequined minidress and white go go boots with her dancers backed by a spiral backdrop. Iggy Azalea is shown in front of a colorful background, and her hairstyle is reminiscent of Barbarella and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (1966) video. The video also contains intercepted scenes of Grande lying atop a giant spiral on a pink floor wearing a white sweater and high socks.
  • Rewatch Bonus: It takes viewing the music video for "break up with your girlfriend, I'm bored" for fans to see the Love Triangle between Ariana, her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend a little differently.
  • Rich Bitch: "7 rings", where she boasts about living a rich fabulous lifestyle and spoiling herself and her friends with her riches.
  • Sampling:
    • "Put Your Hearts Up" samples "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes.
    • "7 rings" samples "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music
    • "my hair" samples "My Neck, My Back" from rapper Khia.
    • Other artists have sampled Ariana too - Lil Uzi Vert's "Celebration Station" samples "raindrops (an angel cried)".
  • The Scream: As heard in Sam & Cat, Ariana can definitely let out a bloodcurdling scream.
  • Secret Relationship: In "Side To Side," she asks "what's it gonna hurt if they don't know? Makin' everybody think that we solo." In "Into You," she says "A little bit scandalous, but baby don't let them see it."
  • Sequel Song: According to Word of God, "Right There" is this to "The Way".
  • Sex Goddess: Almost literally in "God Is A Woman". The entire song dedicated to using religious metaphors as a way to boast about her sexual prowess, such as one shot where Ariana sits on the globe where heaven is between her legs.
  • Sex for Solace: In "Let Me Love You", Ariana writhes in various different rooms while singing about casual sex that helps her get through a painful breakup.
  • Silly Love Songs: "The Way", "Baby I", "Honeymoon Avenue", "Better Left Unsaid", "Tattooed Heart", "Lovin' It", "Daydreamin'", "Right There".
  • Singer-Songwriter: She writes and sings her own songs.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Her regular speaking voice is very soft and subtle, but when she sings, she sounds like this. Over the years, her speaking voice has become more relaxed and deeper.
  • Slumber Party: The story in "Santa Tell Me" is primarily this, holiday-themed.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Apart from the Nikki and Sarah skit above, there's this.
  • Stage Name: Grande is only part of her real last name; her real last name is Grande-Butera.
  • Stepford Smiler: Defied in "Fake Smile". Rather than the narrator forcing herself to smile to keep up appearances, she already fed-up and declares that she'll make her displeasure clear because she "can't fake another smile".
    If I'm hurt I ain't gonn' lie about it
    Arms crossed with the attitude, lips pouted
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Tattooed Heart", "My Everything", and "Almost Is Never Enough" in albums full of dance hits.
    • "ghostin" "Thinking About You" and "pov" are also examples of this.
  • Survival Mantra: "breathin" is about how Ariana suffered from anxiety in real life and had to stop to take deep breaths to control her panic attacks.
    Just keep breathin' and breathin' and breathin' and breathin'
  • This Is the Part Where...: "Break Free" has this as a Title Drop
    "This is the part when I break free
    'Cause I can't resist it no more!"
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: "Love Me Harder," "Dangerous Woman," and "Let Me Love You", all of which shows her writhing around on surfaces and looking seductively at the camera.
  • Title 1: The music video for "Dangerous Woman" was billed as "Visual 1", since Ariana planned for an alternate music video for the song that is story-driven and "weird". Due to lack of time, Visual 2 ended up being cancelled, with only a trailer for show.
  • Torpedo Tits: Missiles fire from her chest in the video for "Break Free".
  • Trauma Conga Line: In a course of a little over a year, she witnessed a bunch of her fans get killed in Manchester after terrorist bombing at one of her concert, get engaged and broken off with Pete Davidson, and lose her ex Mac Miller to a drug overdose, with some crueler fans blaming her for his death, the fact that she was able to release her most critically acclaimed albums in the aftermath of all that is nothing short of a miracle.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: In "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored", between Ariana, her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: The "Beauty and the Beast" music video has Ariana and John Legend providing the music for Belle and the Beast's Dance of Romance, which several clips from Beauty and the Beast (2017) being used.
  • Vocal Evolution: Her speaking voice has somehow grown deeper than it was early in Victorious, necessitating a switch to the more cartoony, babyish Cat Valentine voice we hear today.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
    • Mac Miller in "The Way", Fabolous takes his place in the remix.
    • Big Sean in "Right There", "Best Mistake", and in the hook for "Problem".
    • Iggy Azalea in "Problem".
    • Childish Gambino about two-thirds of the way through "Break Your Heart Right Back"
    • A$ap Ferg in "Hands On Me", although his appearance on the chorus makes his eventual verse less random and unexpected.
    • An uncredited Jamie Foxx in "Focus"
    • Nicki Minaj in "Side to Side", Lil Wayne in "Let Me Love You" and Future in "Everyday"
    • Nicki Minaj once again in "The Light Is Coming" and Missy Elliott in "Boarderline"
    • 2 Chainz in the "7 rings" remix.
    • Doja Cat in "motive".
    • Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion on the remix of ""34+35".
  • Woman of a Thousand Voices:
    • She has several videos of her doing impressions, among those being Shakira and Judy Garland. Also, she's a voice actor. There's also the changing the pitch of her voice to play Cat Valentine.
    • When she did double duty as the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, her impressions (not least of Jennifer Lawrence) went down like gangbusters.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: In the music video for "Break Free", Ariana floating in a space station as she starts to do a zero-gravity striptease, as an homage to the famous opening of Barbarella. Unlike the film, she only strips down to a metallic two-piece.