Ariana Grande: From a Small Actor To a Record Selling Artist


Ariana Grande with 6 of her best looks. (Collage by Basil Morales)

By Basil Morales, Staff Writer

Ariana Grande is a sitcom-star-turned-pop music sensation, known for such hit songs as ‘Problem,’ ‘Bang Bang,’ ‘Dangerous Woman’ and ‘Thank U, Next.’ Miami High has many people who like her and listen to her music.

Who is Ariana Grande

According to IMDB, Ariana Grande was born in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1993 and began performing onstage when she was a child. Her involvement in a Broadway play at age 15, followed by some small TV parts, helped her land the role of Cat on TV’s Victorious. She followed that with the spinoff “Sam & Cat.” Right after those shows ended, she decided to dive headfirst into a chart-topping musical career, releasing five albums: Yours Truly (2013), My Everything (2014), Dangerous Woman (2016), Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019). Her popularity has been fueled by a strong social media presence on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


With over 200 million followers on Instagram and 80 million on Twitter, she has had a very successful career with many fans at Miami High. “What stands out about her is she never repeats the verse or beat in any of her songs. She always changes the rhythm,” said sophomore Jorleni Mejia.

Sophomore Melany Rodriguez added, “Ariana is just one of those artists in my playlist that just has a more uplifting rhythm in her music. She also sings very well, and she can switch the uplifting rhythm to a more sad song that can make someone go into tears very quickly.”

Albums and songs

“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”.

Stephanie Roman said, “I like the song ‘Right There’ because she is singing about how she is getting ready for someone special and how she feels amazing out of this universe when she is next to him. I also like the rhythm.”

The 2014 release My Everything sold 169,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 1. The single “Problem,” featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, preceded the album’s release and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, selling more than 400,000 copies upon its release.

Luz Salgado her favorite song is “Break Free” from the album because of its upbeat it has and how it can get you in a happy mood so quickly.

In February 2016, she released her third album Dangerous Woman, and the title track debuted at number 10 on the Hot 100 that March. Catherine Navarro said, “I like the whole album in general because it shows how much she has evolved since her days as a Nickelodeon actor, and I especially like the song ‘Side to Side’ because she collabed with Nicki Minaj.”

Tragedy Arose

On May 22, 2017, tragedy struck after Grande finished a concert in Manchester, England, and a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the exit of the concert hall, killing 22 people and wounding 116, including many young adults and children. Less than a day after the attack, Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman tour.

However, she returned to Manchester 13 days after the attack to perform a benefit concert on June 4 for the bombing victims, enlisting friends and fellow superstars to perform including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher, Chris Martin, and Pharrell Williams.

Sophomore Melanie Castellanos said, “I really liked the fact that she made a free concert for those who were affected by the bombing, also how she brought so many singers together to perform. The fact that she postponed her Dangerous Woman tour and did a free concert is amazing, and I really admire her for that.”


The album Sweetener, which debuted in mid-August 2018, contained a track about her whirlwind romance with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson. The overall success of Sweetener led to her first Grammy win, for Best Pop Vocal Album, in February 2019.

Junior Dashiell Cordon said, “I like her song ‘Pete Davidson’ because she sings about how she loves him and how happy she is to have him in her life. She also states how every mistake she has gone through has got her ready for him. Although they called off their engagement, it is still one of my favorite songs.”

Thank U, Next is Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album, released on February 8, 2019. Two singles were released from the album, and both debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. With this, Thank U, Next joined Daydream by Mariah Carey as the only albums by female artists to have multiple songs debut at number one.

“My favorite song is ‘Thank U, Next’ especially the verse ‘Thought I’d end up with Sean But he wasn’t a match Wrote some songs about Ricky Now I listen and laugh Even almost got married And for Pete, I’m so thankful Wish I could say, Thank you to Malcolm Cause he was an angel,’ because she is singing about all her exes and has no hate towards them, and that right there shows a true woman,” said sophomore Juda Castillo.


Top Five Songs from Ariana’s Career

Thank U, Next

Number 1 on Billboard 100


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Number 1 on Billboard 100  (2014)

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No Tears

Left to Cry

Number 2 on Billboard 100 (2018)


God Is a Woman

Number 4 on Billboard 100