Pete Davidson talks about his engagement with Ariana Grande

On August 16th, Ariana’s fiance Pete Davidson‘s interview with GQ Magazine was released, as he talked about their engagement and apartment


He’s referring to his new fiancée, the intergalactically famous pop star Ariana Grande. According to the tabloids, Davidson presented Grande, 25, with a $93,000 pear-shaped diamond in June, after just a few weeks of dating. According to Davidson, it happened even quicker than that. “The day I met her, I was like, ‘Hey, I’ll marry you tomorrow,’ ” he says, grinning. “She was calling my bluff. I sent her a picture [of engagement rings]. I was like, ‘Do you like any of these?’ She was like, ‘Those are my favorite ones,’ and I was like, ‘Sick.’ ”

Suddenly, Davidson became one half of the most talked-about millennial couple in America. Paparazzi trail him and Grande everywhere they go in New York City, and the tabloids report breathlessly on each moment they’re spotted together. Davidson seems to think this is happening just because Grande is a “super-famous person.” He’s correct in that she introduced him to a wider audience, but we’d argue that his lovably bizarre antics are what have propelled the couple to public-obsession territory. Instead of hiding from the press, Davidson waltzes down the street wearing neo-goth surgical masks, flipping the bird. (“My friends think I’ve gone crazy,” he says of the masks.) When Jimmy Fallon asked him about Grande on his show in June, Davidson confirmed the engagement and replied, “It’s fuckin’ LIT, Jimmy!”

His easy, unbothered confidence inspired Twitter users to give it a very flattering name: Big Dick Energy. But still he insists that when the paparazzi camp outside his door, “they’re not waiting for me.”

Davidson and Grande recently moved into a Manhattan apartment that reportedly cost $16 million. She bought the place, Davidson says, and he stocks the fridge. “She’s really sweet. She’s like, ‘This is our house,’ and I’m like, ‘You’re very nice for saying that. Thank you for letting me stay here,’ ” he deadpans. “She’s like, ‘We’re getting married!’ And I’m like, ‘I know, thank you for letting me stay here.’ ” They’re still working on decorating it. “It’s like, we have six beanbags, but we have no forks—you know what I mean?” he says, taking a massive bite of pasta salad. “We’re learning how to be adults. We’re having a really fun time.”

Source: GQ.com

Ariana Grande covers the August issue of Elle magazine + plays Song Association

On July 10th, it was announced that Ariana Grande would be the cover star of the August issue of Elle magazine! A video of her playing the game of Song Association was uploaded to their YouTube channel on July 12th.

 

Check out the whole interview below!


Ariana Grande is a star. A really big star. For millions of Arianators, as her fans are known, she’s a radiant, life-giving force they wake up with in the morning and go to bed with at night. They’ve followed the phases of her career as she’s risen from Broadway (the musical 13) to TV (Nickelodeon’s Victorious and Sam & Cat) to the apex of pop stardom and commercial success (eight multiplatinum singles, 9 billion music video streams on YouTube). They’ve contributed to the $100 million-plus that her tours have made, casting the likes of Drake and Sting in Ariana’s petite but long, five-foot shadow. They are among Ariana’s 121 million Instagram followers, making her the third-most-followed person, above both Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé. And when her latest album, Sweetener, drops August 17, Arianators will have helped its lead single, “No Tears Left to Cry,” break records set by none other than Ariana herself.

Calling to them is Ariana’s honeyed, four-octave voice. But they’re also drawn to her sparkle: The poofy lampshade and figure skater–style dresses. The cat, bunny, and Minnie Mouse ears she wears often and without ceremony. On Twitter, she speaks to her fans in fluent internet, playing fast and loose with a “see no evil” monkey emoji and crafting full sentences in acronyms only. In a few short weeks, she went from casually dating Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson to engaged, their relationship born, in part, out of Harry Potter fandom (him: Gryffindor, her: Slytherin). On Instagram, they flirt guilelessly, as if no one were watching (everyone is watching). And then, of course, there’s her signature Vegas-fountain ponytail, the orientation, height, and shade of which Arianators track like an ancient civilization charting the moon. To the casual observer, the singer’s idiosyncrasies might seem juvenile, absurd even, but there’s a subversiveness to Ariana’s child’s play. Her bright and shiny optics belie a far more nuanced character. She’s been in therapy for more than 10 years, since around the time her parents divorced, and thus traffics in self-awareness. “It’s work,” she tells me, sitting on the couch in her hotel suite overlooking Central Park. “I’m a 25-year-old woman. But I’ve also spent the past handful of years growing up under very extraordinary circumstances. And I know how that story goes.…” Cut to former child star in a mug shot. And scene.

She’s been watching a lot of Planet Earth lately. “Have you seen those fish with the transparent heads? Those are aliens! That’s where they are! They’re here.” She takes me on a “really big trip” marveling at outer space. But within her intergalactic musings is the search for perspective: “The planets, the stars, there’s nothing more humbling than that shit. We get so stressed about little things when, in the big picture, we’re just a speck of dust on this tiny planet in this enormous solar system that is also a speck in a huge, mysterious black hole situation, and we don’t even know what it is!” She takes a breath. “Thinking about how small we are, it’s crazy. We are nothing.”

Not that Ariana is a nihilist. She speaks of the strength of community in this “tough, wild, chaotic time right now” and considers just how divided the nation is. Her call to action: “Everyone has to have uncomfortable conversations with their relatives. Instead of unfriending people on Facebook who share different political views, comment! Have a conversation! Try to spread the fucking light.” She’s become something of a feminist hero for her ability to shut down sexism and misogyny with a single tweet. The most recent of which, at press time, regards her ex, rapper Mac Miller, who allegedly drove drunk and crashed his car shortly after their breakup. A Twitter user suggested it was Ariana’s fault. “How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship,” she wrote. “Shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem…please stop doing that.” The user apologized. She accepted.

I meet Ariana on a sunny May afternoon. Her hair is styled in what I’ll call a three-way—two platinum-blond ponytails pulled high atop either side of her head, a third section of extensions cascading down her back. I ask if she is, in fact, communicating to her fans through her hair. “I’ve never thought about it that way,” she says, giving one pigtail a twirl. “But maybe there is a telepathic connection there.” For what it’s worth, her favorite pony is “the high, sleek, dark one. But she takes many forms. Many forms. There are lots of different girls in this sisterhood.” Including totally ponyless wigs, like the one she wore for her ELLE shoot. (Slow claps to her hairstylist, Josh Liu, for swishing and tossing strands by the handful, just out of frame, for hours.)

Last night, Ariana attended her first Met Gala in a Vera Wang gown that sent fans into a tizzy. The “puff puff dream,” as she calls it, featured the entirety of Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement, from the Sistine Chapel, and was “a foreshadow, a hint,” of her upcoming video for “God Is a Woman.” The second single is her 92-year-old grandma Nonna’s favorite song from the new album. By name alone, I peg the track to be a feel-good Women’s-March–y anthem, something along the lines of Katy Perry’s “Roar” set to an R&B beat. I hear it a few weeks later. Hoo boy, was I wrong. Let’s just say it’s more about taking agency in the bedroom than at the office. Nonna, you’re so naughty!

A sly, mischievous streak runs through Ariana’s maternal bloodline. “It’s the Italian thing; we have the dark humor,” she says. Nonna enjoys Cards Against Humanity (sample card: “Chunks of dead prostitute”). And for Ariana’s fourth birthday, her mother, Joan, threw her daughter a Jaws-themed party. “Most of the kids were running, screaming, because I had Jaws playing on a huge screen,” Joan recalls. “The parents were like, ‘Are you crazy? Our kids don’t watch that!’ But it was [Ariana’s] favorite movie.” Joan is a soft-spoken firebrand. The Brooklyn-born, Barnard-educated 61-year-old was “goth before goth was goth,” she says, and name-checks Poe and Hawthorne as favored college companions. At home in Boca Raton, Florida, she made the macabre fun for Ariana and her older half brother, Frankie. Halloween was as big of a deal as Christmas. “I did the house up in things that would give normal children nightmares,” she says. “I would go to the butcher, get heart organs or lungs, and then be like, ‘Ariana, Frankie, this is a heart.’ The kids would paint blood on the walls. I remember Ariana’s little handprints.”

The family went to Disney World pretty regularly, where Ariana was drawn to baddies like Cruella de Vil and Maleficent. “If we had a choice of going to the Disney princess store or the villain store, it was always the villains,” Joan says. It’s worth noting that the biggest fights between mother and daughter “had to do with boys.”

At eight months pregnant with Ariana, Joan moved from New Jersey to Florida to open a marine communications equipment manufacturing company, which she still owns and operates. On the phone from her office, she explains that she and her older sister, Judy, always questioned the status quo. Ariana calls them “through-and-through feminist queens.” Judy was friendly with Gloria Steinem and was the first female Italian American president of the National Press Club. When Joan built her company, she did so with working mothers in mind: “I built this building with a day-care area. I actually had it certified. Employees brought their children, and Ariana was here almost every day.” I ask if she’s ever been tempted to quit her job, in light of her daughter’s astronomic success. Stupid question. “We’re very close,” she says of their relationship. “But I don’t live my life through her life. I have an amazing career. I work because it fulfills me as a person. Because I’m Joan, not Ariana, not Frankie. I would never want to lose Joan somewhere along the way.”

There’s a bouquet of white roses on the coffee table in Ariana’s hotel. The note: “To my darling Ariana: You are the true work of art! Love you dearly, Mommy.” It’s been almost a year since they fled a UK terrorist attack that claimed 22 lives, injuring 500 more, at the sold-out Manchester show of Ariana’s Dangerous Woman tour. Ariana is hesitant to talk about it. For one thing, the wound is still incredibly raw, but she’s also adamant that her story not overshadow those of the victims. So we talk around it. “When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe,” she begins. “I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.” She shared the experience with her friend Pharrell Williams. Together they created “Get Well Soon,” the final track on Sweetener.

“It’s all the voices in my head talking to one another,” she explains, before softly serenading me. “‘They say my system is overloaded,’” she sings, “and then the background vocals say, ‘Girl, what’s wrong with you? Come back down.’” The studio version is a veritable mille-feuille of vocal arrangement, stacking layers upon layers of Ariana’s voice until she lands, wholly, right-side-up.

Joan was in the audience the night tragedy struck and recounts the chaos. “I was like a fish swimming in the wrong direction. Everyone was leaving, and I was going toward the stage. The bomb went off, and I’m looking at these young adults with fear in their eyes. People were jumping from the upper seats to get out. I just started grabbing people. I could have been steering them.…” Her voice trails of, the what-ifs too painful to imagine. “I didn’t know where I was going. I just knew I was going to my daughter. Not to be overly dramatic—I struggle with this every day—but I didn’t know what I would find when I got to her. I sympathize with every parent who was waiting for a child. Those minutes when you don’t know what’s happening…there are no words.”

They immediately caught a flight back to Boca, where the future felt incredibly uncertain. Ariana cried endlessly and barely spoke for two days. It was unclear if she would ever want to perform again. Then Joan got a knock on her door. “It was two or three in the morning; she crawled into bed and said, ‘Mom, let’s be honest, I’m never not going to sing again. But I’m not going to sing again until I sing in Manchester first.’” They called her manager, Scooter Braun, and the One Love Manchester concert was born, helping raise $23 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. Of how the event has changed Ariana, Joan says, “She loves a bit more fearlessly than she did before.” I gently broach the subject with Ariana, and the name Manchester alone triggers a huge teardrop to roll down her cheek. “You hear about these things,” she starts slowly. “You see it on the news, you tweet the hashtag. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. It makes you sad, you think about it for a little, and then people move on. But experiencing something like that firsthand, you think of everything differently.…” She pauses, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Everything is different.” Getting back onstage was “terrifying.” It still is sometimes. She credits her fans as being her primary source of courage. “It’s the most inspiring thing in the world that these kids pack the venue.

They’re smiling, holding signs saying, ‘Hate will never win.’” The tears are full-on now. “Why would I second-guess getting on a fucking stage and being there for them? That city, and their response? That changed my life.” She’d go on to complete the rest of her world tour, capping it off with a performance at A Concert for Charlottesville, another city reeling in the aftermath of senseless violence. A lot of mainstream top 40 types—those who, say, have a certain Reputation—are seemingly reluctant to take a political stance. The fear being, presumably, a loss of fan base and revenue. “That’s wild to me,” Ariana says. She is loud and proud in her anti-Trumpism and has aligned herself with gun reform and Black Lives Matter. I wonder if she’s gotten any backlash. “Of course!” she says. “There’s a lot of noise when you say anything about anything. But if I’m not going to say it, what’s the fucking point of being here? Not everyone is going to agree with you, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to shut up and sing my songs. I’m also going to be a human being who cares about other human beings; to be an ally and use my privilege to help educate people.” For her, the role of the artist is to “not only help people and comfort them, but also push people to think differently, raise questions, and push their boundaries mentally.”

There’s another song on Sweetener that I misjudge based on the title alone. I assume “The Light Is Coming” will be a sweet balm of a ballad in response to the darkest of days. Nope. It’s a bass-thumping dance track featuring Ariana’s friend, collaborator, and “big sis,” Nicki Minaj. (“That’s a ride-or-die situation. She is the best there is, male or female,” Ariana says.) “The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole,” Ariana trills. But then, what is light without the dark? I think of Joan’s campy Halloween house, the Jaws party, those villains—and the bright star who draws her energy from them all.

Before I go, Ariana shows me her Met Gala manicure. It’s also The Last Judgement, this time decaled across her fingers, each nail gilded with a tiny 3-D gold frame. The detail is mind-blowing, and yet it’s a small tattoo of the female symbol that catches my eye. It’s on her middle finger. “Yeah, it comes in handy,” she says.

Source: ELLE.com

Ariana Grande covers the July issue of British Vogue

On June 5th, it was announced that Ariana Grande is the cover star of the July issue of British Vogue! Photographed by Craig McDean and styled by Kate Phelan with hair by Chris Appleton and make-up by Mark Carrasquillo, she wears a Chanel autumn/winter 2018 lace dress with jewelled straps for her #NewVogue debut. Check out an excerpt from the interview below!


Inside the issue, the popstar and social-media titan shares details of her difficult and transformative past year with Vogue’s Giles Hattersley, including how she coped with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the Manchester bombing. “It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it’s a real thing,” she says. “I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience – like I shouldn’t even say anything. I don’t think I’ll ever know how to talk about it and not cry.”

At home in her curiously decorated mansion in Beverly Hills, she goes on to give Vogue a preview of her fourth album, Sweetener. “I think a lot of people have anxiety, especially right now,” she says, as a pounding song concludes. How is your anxiety, Hattersley asks? “My anxiety has anxiety… I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.” She was back in the studio the day after finishing her concert commitments in Asia, South America and Australia in September 2017, a decision, that is, she explains, down to being a workaholic. “Everybody thought I was crazy when I got home and wanted to hit the ground running.”

Read the full interview in the July issue, which is out on newsstands on June 8.

Source: Vogue.co.uk

Ariana Grande covers The Fader’s 2018 Summer Music Issue

On May 29th, Ariana Grande has been revealed as the second of four artists to cover The FADER’s 2018 Summer Music Issue. The print issue hits newsstands in June, but ahead of the release, the magazine has shared the cover photo as well as highlights from Grande’s interview Wednesday morning (May 30). The pop star shared details on her next album, life after the Manchester bombing, and how her fans encourage her to be vulnerable.

Check out the full coverage below!


I don’t really want to start off by talking about Ariana Grande’s ponytail, but I can’t help it. Today, her silver hair has been built up with multiple extensions by her Grecian god of a hairdresser, Chris Appleton; as Ariana shuffles around a cavernous photo studio in slides she designed for Reebok, it bobs behind her like a loyal Pokémon. There’s detailed braiding going on in the front and pounds and pounds tied up in the back, with some pieces dyed a pleasing shade of lilac. When I first spot her across the room — alongside her mom, Joan, who is in full Calabasas momager drag — I release a long “yaaaas” under my breath.

The 24-year-old singer has worn variations of the high and tight hairstyle since 2013 and has rarely appeared in public without it. In 2014, after some people online started to beg for a new style, she explained in a Facebook note that it’s the only look she was comfortable wearing: years of bleaching and dying her hair red, when she was a teen actor on Nickelodeon, damaged it severely.

On the cover art for this spring’s “No Tears Left To Cry,” the lead single from Sweetener, her fourth album, out this August, she left her fans proverbially bald by being photographed with a ponytail that was 45 degrees lower than normal. As one viral tweet put it: “Ariana lowered her ponytail, it’s over for you bitches.”

Since releasing her first single at 19, Ariana has managed to defy the pop star convention of reinventing her look for each musical era. At the end of our interview, I ask if she considered going totally nuclear for this album cycle, like if she ever thought of shaving her head. After the year she’s had, she could certainly play the reinvention card.

She wraps her hair around her hand and gives it a comb and affectionate toss. “The pony has also gone through an evolution, and I’m proud of that,” she says with a heaping tablespoon of self-awareness. “Old pony? I don’t know if she’s that girl. But new pony? I like her. I mean, it’s like a Victoria Secret angel without angel wings. It’s still her without them, but when she’s with them it’s like, Ohh, I get it, she’s an angel.”

During the cover shoot for this story, she’s just like the Ariana I’ve seen in concert and followed on social media: absurdly warm, a theatre kid through and through. When the stereo malfunctions on set, she sings throaty Christmas carols to everyone’s delight. Every day, she sends her best friends good-morning voice notes in a cartoonishly demonic tone. She’s the kind of person who finds out her song is the No. 1 single in 80 countries and the only words she shares with her followers are an emoji-filled “Holy ass titty, thank you so much, what??????”

At the end of our day, her team carefully coordinates her exit. A Range Rover backs all the way into the massive studio and security leads her inside as if they’re escorting a head of state. It seems like this will be the new normal for the rest of her life.

In May of 2017, Ariana performed to a sold-out crowd at a Manchester, U.K. stop on her Dangerous Woman world tour, which was originally planned to take her to six continents over eight months. Shortly after the show was over, a bomber set off an explosion in the arena’s foyer. Her concerts attract a fairly young crowd, so the area was bustling with parents waiting to pick up their kids. The explosion killed 23 people and injured over 500. It was the deadliest terror attack in the U.K. in over a decade.

Ariana and her crew were still backstage when it happened, and no one on her team was hurt. Hours after they’d been cleared out of the arena safely, she tweeted, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

Even almost a year later, she still can’t talk that much about it. She hasn’t sat down for an interview in months, and pretty much has cut off all communication from the outside world. At the first mention of the word Manchester during our chat, she begins to tear up and at several points breaks down into sobbing. As she explains to me, “I guess I thought with time, and therapy, and writing, and pouring my heart out, and talking to my friends and family that it would be easier to talk about, but it’s still so hard to find the words. When you’re so close to something so tragic and terrifying and opposite of what music and concerts are supposed to be, it kind of leaves you without any ground beneath your feet.”

In the hours after the attack, Lloyd’s of London, the bank that insured her tour, called her manager, Scooter Braun, and said they’d cover Ariana’s full pay for the rest of the schedule dates. Because she would have avoided the cost of putting on the shows, she actually stood to make more by canceling. But as Scooter later tells me, “It wasn’t about the money for her. It was about showing her fans and the world that she is who she says she is and being strong for them.”

They suspended the tour for seven dates, but Ariana wanted to go back on the road. Scooter suggested they play Manchester again, and they quickly organized what became One Love Manchester, a benefit concert that raised over $23 million for the victims and their families. On June 3, a day before the event was set to take place, a terrorist attack hit London: a van driver on London Bridge ran into a crowd and killed eight people. Ariana and other key artists on the bill — Chris Martin, Katy Perry, and Marcus Mumford — all stressed that they needed to play now more than ever.

At the end of the concert, after all the acts came together to sing Ariana’s “One Last Time,” she slowly walked to the front of the stage alone. She started singing “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, backed only by a piano. She crushed the bridge the first time, but then she went back, repeating it with such stunning conviction that it was impossible not to hear the song — one you’ve heard your whole life — in a completely new way. In the footage of this moment, every person is openly sobbing. Ariana finished the song through tears and you could hear her crying in the mic, the first time she broke her tough front all night. She somehow managed to sing the chorus one more time.

When I ask her why she chose to close the concert with that song, she starts to cry again. The song was her grandpa’s favorite, she says, and she would sing it to him at home when she was a little girl with an abnormally powerful voice. “He would always tell me to sing it in my concerts. He would always say, ‘You know what you should end with? “Over the Rainbow.”’ And I never did it until that moment. When I was getting ready to do it, I was thinking about him and I felt his presence so heavily around me. He was the person I was closest to in my life. He was everything I wanted to be: as a businessman, as a gentleman, as a human being, as a friend, everything. He was just perfect to me.”

“Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.”
In the days after the Manchester attack, when she was recuperating at her childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida, he was there too. “I found a stack of stationery next to my bed in a Ziploc baggie, and he had written on it, ‘For Ariana.’ I don’t remember seeing it before, and it was next to my bed.” She says she ended the show with that song because it was meant to be: “He tapped me on the shoulder and told me to.”

She says the tears came at that moment because it was when she was truly one with her audience. “The fact that all of those people were able to turn something that represented the most heinous of humanity into something beautiful and unifying and loving is just wild.”

The tour picked back up after One Love Manchester, and Ariana spent June, July, and August on a whirlwind journey across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. “We pushed through and we got home, and once things slowed down, everyone started to really feel it,” she says. “That’s when the process really began. We were riding this adrenaline wave and being strong with each other. Once we got home, we were like, ‘WHEW. Now the real work begins,’ and I’m sobbing.”

Way before any of this, Ariana knew it was time to elevate herself. In 2016, she met with Pharrell and told him: “Take me somewhere completely new — let’s just go.” The pair made “a million” songs together, and she says she enjoyed the freedom to create without a label’s imposed due date. Most importantly, though, as Ariana recalls, he sat her down, pointed at her heart, and told her it was time she show her fans what’s really going on in there. Over email, he explained his producer role with her as “part listener, part therapist, part stenographer.”

Ariana was sick of straightforward song structures and wanted lots of plot twists, which is one of Pharrell’s particular strengths. Take, for example, “The Light Is Coming,” a twitchy new wave track — a far cry from the easily digestible songs of her past. That kind of creative experimentation might make a major label skittish, but as Pharrell told me, the events in Manchester gave a hard reset to the project’s expectations. Half of the tracks that make up the album’s final tracklist are produced by him.

“In all honesty, I feel like [after Manchester] was when different people from the record company actually started to understand what we were trying to do,” Pharrell said. “It’s unfortunate that that situation is what gave it context, but they were able to really see it then. And that’s the truth.”

“The Light” was made with a guest feature in mind, and Ariana auditioned eight rappers for the spot — “I don’t mean to sound like a terrible person, but I wasn’t in love with any of it” — before turning to her friend Nicki Minaj. She texted Nicki the song and asked if she would be interested in the spot. In Ariana’s words, Nicki was like, “Ho-lee-shit-I-love-this,” and called her on up on a rainy morning at 5:00 a.m. to come hear the verse. “I went in my slippers and pajamas to the studio and she killed it,” she says. “That’s what Nicki Minaj does, she elevates a record. If you’re going to have a rapper on a song, they need to really really really be there for a reason, and she does that every single time.”

On “Borderline,” another Pharrell production, Missy Elliott makes a guest appearance, an experience that Ariana has been aiming for since she was crazy young, dancing in her room to Missy’s music, and studying her music videos directed by Dave Meyers, who ended up directing the clip for “No Tears Left To Cry.”

The other half of the album was produced by the most trusted and scientific hitmaker in pop, Max Martin. This is a lot of the work that Ariana produced after Manchester, and she says she got the songwriting bug this time around. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that an artist’s new album is their most personal album yet, but for Ariana it’s really true.

On “Get Well Soon,” she traces her way through the intimate corners of an anxiety attack. “Girl what’s wrong with you? / Come back down.” Eventually, she sings herself back to stability. She wrote the lyrics right after she experienced one, and her words are backed by piano, some bells, and a thousand refractions of her gorgeous voice. “The thing that makes me feel OK with opening up and finally allowing myself to be vulnerable is that I know [my fans] feel the same feelings,” she says. “I’ve talked to them about it. I have fans that have become friends of mine. I have their numbers, and we talk all the time. I played [the song] for them before I played it for my label. They were like, ‘Thank you,’ when they heard that one. It was so scary to do that, but to see them be like, ‘I get it, I feel that too’…”

These creative risks signal a more thoughtful phase in her career. “I’ve always just been like a shiny, singing, 5-6-7-8, sexy-dance…sexy thing. But now it’s like, ‘OK … issa bop — but issa message. Issa bop but also has chunks of my soul in it. Here you go. Also, I cried 10 hundred times in the session writing it for you. Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.’ There’s definitely some crying-on-the-dancefloor stuff on this one.” She balances gravitas with snackable joy on “No Tears,” the garage-inflected anthem that introduced people to this new sonic era. On “God Is A Woman,” a choir backs her over a beat you could probably get excommunicated for dancing the right way to.

A few weeks after our interview, Ariana posted to her Instagram story that she decided to add five tracks to her album, bringing the total tracklist up to 15 songs. We hopped on the phone to talk about the last-minute creative push, and Ariana seems even happier and more energized than before.

After recently reaching an “emotional rock bottom,” she revisited some of the songs she had decided to initially cut. The additions are three more from the Pharrell sessions, one from the Max camp, and one with her close past collaborator producer Tommy Brown. She first worried that these songs were “too emotionally honest” and might make her fans worried, but after some of the fears she was writing about came true, she gave them a second look. “There are parts of my life that they would love to know about,” she says, “and hard times that I have been dealing with for the past year-and-a-half that they deserve to know about because they love me endlessly and care. I don’t want to hide any pain from them because I can relate to their pain. Why not be in it together?”

She explains to me she that realized she had still been putting up emotional walls. “I guess I was kind of running on zero and pretending to be at a 10 for about 10 months,” she says. “It took me getting to, I deserve to be at a 10, and fuck it, and let’s fucking go, and now I feel so free and happy as fuck. Reaching that feeling made me look at the songs and be like What? What?! I wasn’t going to put this on the album? Oh my god, this is a bop! What was I fucking thinking? How did I get in my own head about blah-blah-blah that I would dare take this off the album.”

Recovery is a real process, and fortunately Ariana has taken some time for herself. Lately, she’s been heads-down on her album while enjoying living a serene life in L.A. with her seven dogs. She says she’s been watching an intense amount of Grey’s Anatomy, finishing five seasons — that’s over 100 hours — in just the past month. She swears that she’s a total Christina but also shares Izzie’s emotional side; if there’s a better show about a group of friends managing to process a seemingly endless trail of grief, I can’t think of one.

She says therapy has been helpful for her — she’s actually been in it her whole life and has always been a fan. “It has helped me deal with so much. I think it’s great for everybody. Especially in this regard. Therapy is the best. It really is.”

It’s also the first time she’s lived a home life in maybe forever, and she’s relished it. “I feel like all of a sudden I woke up and I’m an adult. It’s really crazy for me,” she says in disbelief. She likes to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and watch her house get enveloped by the early morning L.A. mist, a “yummy dream cloudland,” she says.

“I’ve never been this vulnerable to myself. I feel like I graduated almost.”
In the year before our interview, Ariana’s only real public appearances were for political causes. Last November, she appeared as the youngest act at A Concert for Charlottesville, a musical benefit in Virginia that was organized by Dave Matthews after Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist when Neo-Nazis stormed the city. In March, she was one of the headliners at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C., the demonstration of students against gun violence after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “We’re in such a trying time and people have been responding with acceptance, love, inclusion, and passion,” she says. “This generation, they’re standing up and they’re not going to take no for an answer.”

When the kids from Parkland came to Los Angeles, Scooter arranged for them to meet her before their protest took place. They sat around the floor of his living room in a circle and talked about theatre, their shared experiences, and she opened up about Manchester, specifically about what happens when time passes after a tragic event and things quiet down. They became fast friends and hugged and cried a lot.

“That sums up who she is,” Scooter told me. “That’s when you see the best of her: when the cameras aren’t on. Because a lot of people know how to turn it on for the cameras. She is who she is all of the time.”

A weird thing to think about is that Ariana Grande almost didn’t make it as a singer — she wasn’t always seen as an easily relatable person with superhuman talents. On Nickelodeon, she played the always-oblivious sidekick Cat Valentine in the performing arts school comedy Victorious, which was a star vehicle for Victoria Justice. Eventually, that role translated into a goofy spin-off called Sam & Cat, which had a successful first season but ended after 36 episodes. She recorded a few songs for the show’s bubblegum soundtracks and made guest appearances on a couple of Nick stars’ projects, but nothing really made a dent beyond her young TV audience. Sony had passed on her, and Nickelodeon didn’t think of her as more than a secondary character. So she pursued music on her own terms on YouTube, under her very early ’00s username “osnapitzari.”

In one clip she uploaded in 2007, when she was 14, she stands in front of a loop pedal machine and uses different recordings of her voice to create a multi-layered track with herself as every instrument as well as the lead vocalist. It’s super cute and psychotically impressive. A couple of years later, in 2012 — with peak “old pony” — she recorded a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Die In Your Arms.” That got the attention of Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, who signed her shortly after. Her 2013 debut, Yours Truly, a poppy R&B album mostly produced by Babyface, debuted at No. 1, and so did its 2014 follow up, My Everything, which made Ariana a fixture of the Billboard top 10.

Ariana’s four-octave range, which is stronger than pretty much any of the current pop singers in her lane, made her a star. She’s got an especially light head voice, which makes her high notes sound like glitter cannons shooting through rainbows, especially when her vocal tracks are layered on top of each other. In a now-iconic 2016 Twitter thread, it was determined that she does in fact “Have The Range.”

For an example of her skill, consider the slightly underperforming but beloved 2016 single “Into You.” It’s an intense love song that kicks off with a lyric that Lorde remarked on Twitter was maybe the closest thing to “pop perfection” she’s ever heard: “I’m so into you / I can barely breathe.” Near the song’s end, after the epic bridge, the chorus repeats a few times with a swirl of harmonies and ad-libs.

“Those moments to me are when a song comes together,” Ariana says. “When you get to the chorus, you do a couple of ad lib takes and you do all the harmonies in the world. My favorite things are vocal production, harmonies, and vocal arrangement. That’s when a song has its legs.”

For me, as a gay man — and I’m a little embarrassed to say this — those transcendent musical moments and the way I react to them let me know that being gay is not a choice and I was in fact born this way. Although queer fandom is a given for most pop stars, Ariana’s seems especially deserved. “I grew up singing in gay bars,” she says. “I grew up with a gay brother, who is my best friend. Boys taught me how to do my makeup. This is an authentic love.” The second verse of “No Tears Left To Cry,” she tells me, is about “the sweet cuties” in her tour meet-and-greets who have come out to her.

Here’s how she says their interactions go:

Fan: Hi mom.

Ariana: Hi babe.

Fan: I’m gay.

Ariana: Work! Really?

Fan: That was my first time saying that to anyone.

Ariana: WHAT!? NO FUCKING WAY, COME HERE!

It’s moments like this that have her excited to share this album and get back out on tour, despite everything she’s gone through over the past year. If the Ariana Doctrine is to go around the world spreading love and positivity in the face of hate, she’s making music that matches the ambitions of those grown-up goals. “I’ve never been this vulnerable to myself,” she says. “I feel like I graduated almost. I feel like for a long time the songs were great, but they weren’t songs that made me feel something the way these songs do.”

Towards the end of our time together, she tells me the story of a day that summed up what her life has been like lately. It takes place on a foggy, rainy day — her favorite kind. “I was driving home from work and I just felt an overwhelming peace wash over me,” she remembers. “I just started tearing up — tears of gratitude because of perspective, because of growth, opening up and finding the ground again because of music, friends, and love. I was just overwhelmed by how simple it can be if you let it.”

Source: TheFader.com

Ariana Grande to be on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine in April

On March 1st, it was announced that Ariana Grande will be on the cover of the April issue of Cosmopolitan magazine! Check out the photos and behind the scenes look below!

On being strong and having a voice: “A lot of times, women are labeled as a bitch or a diva for having a vision and being strong and using their voice, and it’s just not the case. You can be strong and be friendly. [We] don’t have to be just one thing.”

On falling in love: “I’ve never looked at love as something that I need to complete me. I would like to be complete on my own first and fall in love with somebody who is also complete. You can still celebrate and be totally obsessed with each other, but I want to feel a hundred percent myself so that I can love that person better.”

On her boyfriend, Mac Miller: “I met him when I was 19. We have loved and adored and respected each other since the beginning, since before we even met, just because we were fans of each other’s talent. We weren’t ready at all, though, to be together. It’s just timing.”

On Madonna: “I have the utmost respect for that woman. I love her with every ounce of my being, and not just because I’m obsessed with her entire discography. I’m so inspired by her bravery and her strength. I can look at her and not be scared to be strong.”

For more of Ariana Grande’s exclusive interview and photo shoot with Cosmopolitan, pick up the April 2017 issue on newsstands March 7 or click here to subscribe to the digital edition!

Harvey Fierstein on working with Ariana Grande in Hairspray Live!

On December 6th, Harvey Fierstein talked with Gay Times Magazine on working with Ariana Grande and donning the heels again for Hairspray Live.


Creator of the musical and starring as Edna Turnblad — mother of Tracy — in the NBC live broadcast, Harvey has moved from writing the story on page, to starring on Broadway, and now a live television show.

In the current issue of GT, we sat down with the King of gay theatre to find out how he prepares to bring Edna back to live once again.

“It’s more scary than exciting,” he giggles.

“I mean, it’s live television and I’ve never done that before. At my age, to take on something like this is HUGE! Holding together a performance during commercial breaks? I just don’t know about that. I guess I didn’t say ‘no’ because life is only as exciting as the times you say ‘yes’, right?”

But how has the lengthy rehearsal process with his American Music Award-winning co-star Ariana Grande been so far?

“She’s huge, but the whole cast is flipping awesome,” he smiles.

“We did some press which is when I properly met Ariana; she’s such a doll-and-a-half. We giggled and we laughed! We sat down to do a table reading, she sat next to me, and when she sang she blew me out of my chair — WOW! When it came to my time to sing, I said calmly, ‘You can all go for coffee now!’”

Source: GayTimes.co.uk

Mac Miller reveals his relationship status with Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande called him ‘boo’ at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, confirming Mac Miller’s relationship with the singer. But when did it all start?

The rapper reached out to Grande when he thought she would be a great artist to feature on the track “My Favorite Part” on his fourth album The Divine Feminine (out Friday).

“I wrote that love song before I saw her. We’re very good friends first and foremost,” Miller told PEOPLE at the taping of the AT&T Audience Network Presents series on September 12. “We made that song and started becoming close again. It’s very dope and I like how that worked out.”

Miller, 24, and Grande, 23, had previously collaborated on her hit song “The Way”, so it wasn’t the first time they’d worked together, but in this session it was like no time had passed.

The two performed “My Favorite Part” at the weekly music series and their chemistry was fierce. At the end of the song, Grande shook Miller’s hand, as though to thank him jokingly for doing business with her, and walked off stage.

“Pleasure working with you,” he said, to which she replied: “I’ll be in touch.”

After the cameras stopped rolling, Grande went back on stage to put her hands on his shoulders and they shared a sweet moment. She cupped his face in her hands, leaned in and kissed him, at which point Miller kissed her right back.

The two love making music and spending as much time together as they can, so it makes sense that the relationship was a natural progression of their friendship.

“We hung out for a long time and everything just happened organically. We love making music together – we do that always. But she’s my best friend in the world.”

And Miller enjoys their time together on stage as well. “We’ve performed together a lot – when “The Way” came out, we did all the shows,” he said. “We’re both relaxed – we just have fun. And everybody gets an ‘awww’ moment.”

The “awww” really comes in when he describes Grande to others.

“She’s just very warm and comforting,” he said. “She’s very caring but, also, we have a lot of fun. We go on adventures. Adventures can be driving around in the car aimlessly. It’s great to be able to do nothing and be doing so much.”

Source: People.com

Ariana Grande covers the June issue of Billboard Magazine

On May 18th,  Billboard posted their interview with Ariana Grande, as she is covering the June edition of Billboard Magazine! Check out the whole interview below!

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While it boasts five bedrooms, marble floors and a huge window overlooking beautiful Benedict Canyon, the Beverly Hills home Ariana Grande moved into last summer lacks any kind of decor — unless you count the picture frames leaning against a nearby wall, their corners still wrapped in cardboard. On this Monday afternoon in April, Grande sits in a plush white chair at the head of her sprawling dining room table. She’s wearing a plain black top, black stretchy pants and unmarked black sneakers, and her hair hangs over her chest in two loosely braided ropes. A MacBook, iPhone, bottle of water and Starbucks iced coffee sit before her. It’s as if a Hollywood pitch meeting is about to break out — an impression that’s reinforced when she offers a one-sentence summary of Dangerous Woman, her third album, throatily enunciating each syllable: “A 22-year-old girl comes into her own trying to balance growing up, love and a lot of other bullshit along the way.”

But in Ariana Grande’s world, things are always a bit more complex — odder? — than they first seem. After delivering this little coming-of-age log line, for example, she points her big eyes up at the ceiling in search of a kicker and comes out with this: “And she has a black latex Super Bunny within!” (More on that in a moment.) Once Grande — a former Nickelodeon star and gifted comic actress who expertly impersonates other pop stars on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — warms up, the barely furnished house begins to feel less like a conference center and more like an acting studio. During our talk she dramatically bats her lashes and flashes an exaggerated grin, all with self-aware elan. She also does a perfectly mealy-mouthed impression of rapper Future and breaks into “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne. But the best is her Jurassic Park velociraptor: She curls her fingers into claws, hunches and does a Wookiee-like growl: “Hrrrrlll!”

It’s all very charming — Celine Dion told Grande she “peed” watching her re-create her signature chest pound for Fallon — but Grande’s skill for mimicry doesn’t make it any easier to suss out her true self. Is she an entertainer in the old-school mode, forged in the fire of TV, Broadway and pop-music child stardom? A diva tucking her insecurities behind a lot of razzle-dazzle? Someone who might actually slip into a black-latex bunny costume?

As a matter of fact, Grande appears on the cover of Dangerous Woman in shiny black headgear with long ears. It looks like it was designed for American Horror Story by the cartoonists at Warner Bros. The Super Bunny “is my superhero, or supervillain — whatever I’m feeling on the day,” says Grande. “Whenever I doubt myself or question choices I know in my gut are right — because other people are telling me other things — I’m like, ‘What would that bad bitch Super Bunny do?’ She helps me call the shots.”

Whether owing to her gut, her team or her alter-egos, it has been a grand career for Grande so far. With her March hit “Dangerous Woman” — a sultry R&B track with a self-empowerment message and an arena-annihilating hook — Grande became the first artist in Billboard Hot 100 history to have the lead single of each of her first three albums debut in the top 10. She has sold 1.3 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen Music; grossed $41.8 million on 2015’s Honeymoon Tour, according to Billboard Boxscore; claims 4 billion YouTube views; clocks in at fourth among all humans on Instagram (with 71.4 million followers) and 18th on Twitter (38.8 million); and will kick off her album release with a performance at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22. And, she says, “I feel like I’m still just getting started — a lot of people forget I’m only three years in.”

Grande’s challenge is with her quote unquote brand. Like all female pop stars entering adulthood these days, she’s under pressure to not only prove herself grown and sexy, but that she’s somehow lifting up herself and other women as she does it. And in her bid to be taken seriously, she has more to overcome than many of her peers. The world first met her as Cat Valentine, the adorably dopey character at the heart of two Nickelodeon teen sitcoms (the second, Sam & Cat, ended in 2014), and she hasn’t quite shaken off that childlike sheen. Her tiny stature (she’s just 5 feet tall), love of Harry Potter (she describes Super Bunny as “my patronus”) and all the animal-themed, Lolita-meets-S&M gear don’t exactly help. Neither did getting caught on a bakery security camera in 2015 licking pastries that weren’t hers while declaring, “I hate America.”

But Grande’s got a not-so-secret weapon in all this: showstopping talent. “She’s a pure singer,” says Macy Gray, 48, who appears on Dangerous Woman’s most soulful cut, “Leave Me Lonely.” “It’s similar to what Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera have — that power thing. But I didn’t realize that. She does all these pop records where you can get a song across without showing your chops.”

And Grande’s talent is not merely as a singer. Her turn as SNL host in March garnered rave reviews. Steven Spielberg was so impressed he texted Lorne Michaels to say so. (“I can’t tell you how surreal and insane that is for me,” gushes Grande. “My second birthday party was Jaws-themed. My brain almost combusted when I heard it from Lorne.”) Her skits were great, but the real win was the monologue, in which Grande spun Doughnutgate into a showcase for her artistry and self-awareness, singing about her need for a proper adult scandal (“Miley’s had them, Bieber’s had them”) to take her career to the next level. “I was just so happy to be able to make fun of myself,” says Grande. “If you think you’re laughing at me, I promise I laughed first.”

When it comes to the delicate art of signaling her feminist awareness, Grande has proved less of a natural. Instagramming pictures of Maya Angelou, Coco Chanel and her journalist aunt Judy Grande with Gloria Steinem in the lead-up to the release of “Dangerous Woman” felt a bit on the nose when the constituents of Taylor Swift’s woke women’s consortium advertise their membership simply by appearing together on red carpets.

Still, Grande’s feminism is clearly no put-on. “Do you want to see something I saved to my phone because it upset me so much?” she asks me. It’s a collection of tweets from a U.K. radio station with a salacious streak — two praise Justin Bieber and Zayn Malikfor showing skin, and two scold Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian for the same. “If you’re going to rave about how sexy a male artist looks with his shirt off,” says Grande, “and a woman decides to get in her panties or show her boobies for a photo shoot, she needs to be treated with the same awe and admiration. I will say it until I’m an old-ass lady with my tits out at Whole Foods. I’ll be in the produce aisle, naked at 95, with a sensible ponytail, one strand of hair left on my head and a Chanel bow. Mark my words. See you there with my 95 dogs.”

In June, Grande tweeted a screen grab of an essay she wrote about her budding independence, capped with a 1971 Steinem quote: “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. She will need her sisterhood.”

Grande’s sisterhood includes her mother and nonna, managers Stephanie Simon and Jennifer Merlino (Grande parted ways with co-manager Scooter Braun in February), her fans the Arianators and old pals from Florida: Misha Lambert, now a self-published author, and Alexa Luria, who just graduated from the University of Florida and has 560,000 Instagram followers thanks to her BFF status with Grande.

“I have a bunch of really dope friends I’ve known since elementary school,” says Grande. “They think it’s funny that people want to take pictures with me at Starbucks, because it is — it’s weird. They’re going to keep me healthy and humble. I still feel like Ariana from Boca [Raton] who loves musical theater and dogs. I’m just working now.”

But Grande was working then, too. When she was 8 years old, she sang the national anthem at a Florida Panthers game, caught Gloria Estefan’s ear doing karaoke on a cruise ship (Estefan has said she told Grande, “This is what you need to be doing”) and starred in Annie at the local Little Palm Family Theatre. That was about the time her parents split up. Joan Grande is the CEO of Hose-McCann, a communications company with military contracts, and her dad, Edward Butera, owns a graphic design studio in Boca Raton, where Ariana was raised with her older half-brother Frankie (today an actor, TV host and YouTube personality). Back then, she dressed up as Dorothy Gale a lot, and sometimes Jason Voorhees.

“I was a messed-up little kid,” says Grande with glee. “I remember one night my dad came home late from work, and we all had skeleton makeup on our faces. He was like, ‘Is this Halloween?’ Nope, it’s just another Wednesday in our house.”

Grande sang to the soundtracks of The Bodyguard and The Wizard of Oz, played French horn for a few years and made songs using GarageBand and a Boss RC-50 Loop Station like her early hero Imogen Heap. (Our interview is interrupted when her soundman arrives to collect her Mi.Mu Gloves, a Heap invention and Grande concert staple that bundles a sampler, theremin and vocoder.) Broadway came calling first. In 2008, Grande moved to New York with her mother and Frankie after winning a role in the musical 13. Then, in 2009, they relocated to Los Angeles for her Nickelodeon gig on Victorious.

Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman signed Grande in 2011, when she was 17. “I’m pitching her on the company,” he recalls, “and about 12 minutes in, she shuts me down and goes, ‘Do you want to hear me sing?’ Then she belts a Whitney track and just stops time. The other intriguing thing was she said she pursued acting to set up her music career. Ari is very determined and incredibly resourceful.”

An early bubble gum LP was wisely scrapped — Grande even had the frilly video for “Put Your Hearts Up” scrubbed from Vevo — and in 2013 she relaunched. “One minute I was Cat Valentine,” she recalls, “and the next I was singing R&B and making out with Mac Miller” in the video for “The Way.”

Big Sean, another rapper whom Grande featured on her early songs, became her boyfriend. Their eight-month romance ended in early 2015 because, they maintained, touring would keep them apart most of the year, and Grande says the split wasn’t too hard on her. But tabloid coverage of the type that surrounded her then remains a sore spot now.

“I’ll never be able to swallow the fact that people feel the need to attach a successful woman to a man when they say her name,” says Grande, alluding to another singer’s relationship. “I saw a headline — draw your own conclusions [on the subjects] because it’ll be so much drama that I don’t want — they called someone another someone’s ex, and that pissed me off. This person has had so many great records in the last year, and she hasn’t been dating him forever. Call her by her name!” Her voice echoes off her home’s bare walls. “I hate that. Like, I’m fuming. Sorry. You opened up … I need to take a sip of water and breathe. Don’t get me started on this shit.”

It seems obvious that Grande’s referring to Bieber and Selena Gomez, though it’s unclear if she’s projecting onto Gomez because she has worked too hard to have her own spotlight stolen or she resents having her old romances played for clicks. In a quieter moment, I ask her about the difference between TV fame and pop celebrity. “When you’re playing a zany character on a kids’ show, people don’t want to vilify you as much,” says Grande. “They’re a lot harder on pop artists — they’re unafraid to hurt you.”

Grande says she went through a lot in the last year and a half, but when I press her for specifics, she just refers me to the new album’s lyrics. “I’m much better at making songs than telling people things,” she admits. As for her documented but unconfirmed relationship with her backup dancer (and partner in doughnut crime) Ricky Alvarez, she’s curt: “We’re happy. I’m a very happy girl. I have a healthy life right now, and I think that’s all anyone cares to know. The end.”

Grande doesn’t mention that Alvarez inspired the name of the LP’s doo-wop opener “Moonlight.” “That’s what Ricky called her one night. I think it was after their first kiss,” says Grande’s close friend and co-writer of six years, Victoria Monet, 23. “He waited to kiss her for a long time, and she was really impressed. He’s such a gentleman, and the song is a great little bookmark of the start of their relationship.” Grande sends Monet texts or voice memos when anything song-worthy happens to her, and the two write music during sleepovers in which they wear onesies and play the card game Bullshit. Grande also invited Monet on tour so she could hear a stadium full of fans singing their songs.

Behind the scenes with other folks, it has been rumored that Grande is somewhat difficult — that she is, you know, a diva. “The D-word for Ariana is ‘do-it-yourself,’ ” counters Lipman. “She takes on tremendous responsibility and isn’t afraid to challenge whomever. Some people are intimidated by that, but I encourage it. We’ve argued — we’ll raise our voices — but that’s creative conflict and that’s where the sparks fly. It always starts and ends with Ariana.”

“If I want to walk to Whole Foods and there are a million pictures of me the next day, fine!” says Grande. “Guess what? I go to Whole Foods looking like shit all the time.” Grande wears a Ralph Lauren dress, Tacori rings and Harry Kotlar earrings.

There’s a hint of that stubborn support for the artistic prerogative in Grande’s response to a question about Kanye West and his now-notorious line from “Famous”: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous.” Grande squirms when asked about the line, but refuses to cast West out: “I’m conflicted. It’s a serious thing to joke about, but at the same time, a lot of artists use humor in their music. I mean, yes, it’s hard to listen to. But I’m obsessed with Kanye’s album. I’m obsessed with Taylor’s album. There are some cringe-worthy topics on his, but it’s part of Kanye. He’s a fantastic artist.”

Grande’s determined to avoid any kind of controversy. She won’t comment, for example, on Swift’s Twitter scuffle with guest Dangerous Woman rapper Nicki Minajover the latter’s perceived 2015 MTV Video Music Awards snub: “If people are fighting, I stay as far away as possible. I’ve said this a million times: I hate drama. I love women in the industry. I’m a big fan of all my peers, and I try to keep it a hundred. That’s why I don’t look at anything. I’m like, ‘My song’s out!’ Then I run for the hills. ‘Here’s another picture of my dogs! Bye!’ ”

Speaking of her dogs: Grande owns seven (not 95, or at least not yet). A brindle pit rescue named Cinnamon offers me a paw when I arrive, and her Yorkie adoptee Strauss finds her lap halfway through the interview. The cheagle Toulouse, who modeled for Coach in 2015, eventually walks me to the door. Grande offers a hug, but her team, who excused themselves earlier, are flocking back to the big table, so she doesn’t linger. The menagerie awaits its leader.

Source: Billboard.com

Ariana Grande talks Lipsy London & Ed Sheeran with LOOK

Ariana Grande is on the February cover of the UK magazine LOOK, and her photos with Lipsy London have been put inside the excerpt, along with an interview about the collection, feminism and bullying, and artists such as Ed Sheeran, Nathan Sykes, Adele, and more! Check out the interview below!


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You’re very outspoken about equality and feminism, why are these issues so important to you?

‘I love surrounding myself with strong women and I love promoting that kind of attitude.’

What misconceptions about feminism would you like to break down?

‘Feminism is just about promoting equality- it’s not a scary thing- we should all consider ourselves feminists.’

You’ve spoken out a lot about online bullying, what do you think can be done to prevent if from happening?

‘All you can do is lead by example. We’ve all been there or know someone who has. I see it daily and it breaks my heart.’

You wrote an amazing piece on Twitter about the double standards women experience, what examples of these have you encountered recently in your own life?

‘I think all of us have experienced double standards at one time or another. It’s important that we stick up for ourselves and for other women.’

Who do you look up to?

‘Madonna! I recently performed with her and it was everything and more. That woman’s drive is beyond.’

Recently you worked with your ex [former The Wanted band member, Nathan Sykes] wasn’t that tough? 

‘We are friends and I am so happy with how the song turned out.’

Ed Sheeran said you have a foul mouth after last year’s VS secrets, is that true? 

‘I can be known to have quite the inappropriate sense of humour! And Ed Sheeran is so British and embarrasses easily. He is so easy to make blush. I think people often think I’m totally censored so I love to catch them off guard!’

Which other artists do you love? 

‘I really love Adele, Jessie J’s my girl – collaborating with her was super cool. She brings such a different vibe. I was buzzing off her energy. Ed’s obviously a legend. The Brits know how to do it just much more proper and [all] washed down with a nice cup of tea!’

You’ve got a huge amount of followers online. Tell us that you manage your own accounts…

Have you seen my social media?! No one in their right mind would take ownership of that. It’s me, me, me!

Source: LOOK.co.uk

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Ariana Grande talks ‘Ari’ fragrance with InStyle Magazine

On September 29th, Ariana Grande has a talk with InStyle Magazine to discuss things regarding her new fragrance Ari by Ariana Grande. Check out the interview below!


Ariana Grande bottled up her favorite personality traits into her first fragrance, Ari. “It’s sexy, playful, and sweet, just like me,” the 22-year-old pop star says of her scent, now available for $49 for 1.7 fl. Oz. at ulta.com. “I thought was going to be hard to mix sweet and sexy, but this all came together. I really wanted to give my fans a piece of me—my own favorite smell.” Here she explains the ingredients that make her spritz full of life.

So is it cool to call you Ari now?
“My family calls me that. I wanted that to be the name because the fragrance is so personal. I wanted to give people a piece of me. This is really a statement that says, ‘Here I am!'”

You said you wanted this scent to be sexy, hence the notes of creamy musk and blonde woods. When do you feel your sexiest?
“Right before I do a show, when I’m getting into my costume and when I’m in it.”

More so than when you’re on the red carpet?
“Well, I did feel so pretty in the white Versace dress I wore to the Grammys this year. But honestly? I feel my sexiest when I smell good. [Laughs.]”

How convenient! Though, you have so many tattoos. Don’t you think those are sexy, too?
“Those are more personal. I have a bunch that I feel like people haven’t seen yet because they’re secretive and small. I have 10 total, but you can only see six of them. One of my favorites is the crescent moon on the side of my neck. I never really share the meanings behind my tattoos because tattoos are so personal.”

Also, you’ve made your cat-eye liner pretty much your signature sexy look. How did you become such a beauty pro?
“It took forever but I think I’m there. I think I mastered it by practice and prayer. I use the Smashbox black liner ($22, sephora.com) and the Chanel eyeliner in liquid brown and black ($35, chanel.com). Those are my two favorites.”

You represent your playful side in Ari with aromas like grapefruit and raspberry. IRL, where do you have the most fun?
“Snapchat! [Her username is Moonlightbae.] I love taking candid, funny videos. There is no time to filter or edit—it’s a way for me to directly connect to my fans. Though, I have to admit, I feel so hilariously awkward taking selfies. I pray people aren’t watching.”

What about relaxing? Do you ever get a chance to do that?
“Meditation like clears my mind but I feel like it’s also hard work because it’s hard for me to clear my mind. I do get to relax. I love snuggling up and watching movies, writing in my journal, and watching something good on TV. I used to love Gossip Girl. I love America’s Next Top Model and American Horror Story. I’m a big Scream Queens fan, for the obvious reasons. I also love reading a good book. I just re-read God Wears Lipstick for the billionth time. I feel my coziest when I’m wearing yoga leggings and slippers and a crop top and a hoodie with my fragrance on because it smells really good [laughs].”

 

Of course, always the fragrance! You also wanted your scent to be sweet. The pear and marshmallow do the trick. What’s the sweetest thing about you?
“That’s such a tough one. I guess that I’m such a romantic. I’m so traditional when it comes to that stuff. Love, for me, is laughter, respect, good conversation, genuine support, and more laughter.”

Has anyone come close?
“The last time someone did something sweet for me was when I received a lavender flower arrangement and a cryptic card. I eventually figured out what the message meant, and it was so rewarding.”

Well, what did it mean, Ari?!?
“I’m not telling. It’s a secret.”

Source: InStyle

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Ariana Grande on the October issue of Marie Claire

After making it in the covers of major magazines like “Billboard” and “Seventeen” in the past months, Ariana Grande now makes it on the cover of the magazine Marie Claire. Along with an exclusive interview with the singer, the magazine has also had a unique photoshoot. Check out all the photos by clicking the thumbnails below:

Magazine

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Photoshoot

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Behind the Scenes

Billboard Magazine Reviews Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’

Ariana Grande’s debut album Yours Truly was released almost exactly a year ago, and over the past 12 months, the former Nickelodeon star has transformed from pop artist you ought to know to an undeniable superstar, with three singles in the Top 10 of the current Hot 100 chart, a slot opening the MTV Video Music Awards, red-hot dating rumors and millions of followers watching her every move. Grande is expanding as both a brand and a musician: as her profile has gotten bigger, she has pulled more sounds into her repertoire while keeping her biggest weapon, a remarkable vocal range, as a steady foundation. As a full-length, Yours Truly succeeded due to its consistency, with R&B producer Harmony Samuels concocting a buttery sound for Grande to embrace and keeping the subject matter uniformly kid-friendly. My Everything acknowledges that winning formula and disregards it, instead opting to turn Grande into a dance artist, a pop artist, a soul artist and an artist capable to singing the line “Picture me and you making/Making sweet love/Baby, give it to me” with no hesitation.

As a result, My Everything is a less cohesive project than Yours Truly, although its best moments eclipse the highs of Grande’s 2013 debut. The singles “Problem” and “Break Free” remain dizzying dance tunes, and back-to-back solo songs “One Last Time” and “Why Try” possess the types of flawless melodies that are typically reserved for the world’s biggest pop divas. The back half of the album’s many collaborations are hit-or-miss — “Love Me Harder” with the Weeknd amazingly meshes together two dissimilar types of artists, while the A$AP Ferg appearance on “Hands on Me” is lost amidst the song’s sexual vibe. The deluxe edition of the album is a similar grab-bag, with the explosive Top 10 hit “Bang Bang” giving way to the comparatively breezy “Only 1.”

One plea for Grande’s future albums: it’s time for her to own a stunning ballad. Songs on My Everything like the title track and “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” attempt to match the awe-inspiring effect of Grande’s voice but fall short, and one is left longing for the rising star to burst through with her own “I Will Always Love You,” “Un-Break My Heart” or “Someone Like You.” Grande has proven that her fizzy pop-R&B sound can get our hearts soaring, but next time, let’s hope that she breaks them.

Which songs on My Everything are worth repeated listens? Check out our track-by-track review of Ariana Grande’s sophomore album.

1. Intro – Eighty seconds that welcomes Grande fans back into the fold, reminding everyone that her voice is still a wonder and that she’s still preoccupied with finding unconditional love.

2. Problem feat. Iggy Azalea – The subtle introduction leads directly into the irresistible, inescapable single “Problem,” in which Grande invites Iggy Azalea, Big Sean’s whisper and a raucous horn riff into the fold while still doing the heavy lifting herself. As time passes and the plays add up, one starts to notice the way Grande nimbly handles her start-stop vocals, rattling off a line like “And even though I can’t forgive you/I really want to, I want you” with a playful breathlessness before yearning on the following line, “Tell me, tell me, baby/Why can’t you leave me?”

3. One Last Time – A song like “One Last Time” demonstrates Grande’s newfound maturity and ambition on My Everything: while the downbeat admission of “I know/that you got everything/But I got nothing here without you” is the pained sound of a narrator racked with guilt, the chorus sets aside that humiliation and scoops up a sense of hope in front of pummeling drums and a three-note synth line.

4. Why Try – Co-written and co-produced by Ryan Tedder, “Why Try” is constructed as Grande’s “Halo,” an unabashed diva moment that bowls over the listener with vocal power and mid-tempo emotion. The lyrics might have needed some polishing, but Grande presents a line like “Now we’re screaming just to see who’s louder” as if her livelihood depended upon it.

5. Break Free feat. Zedd – With an assist from EDM maestro Zedd, second single “Break Free” is the total antithesis from its predecessor “Problem.” Whereas the Iggy Azalea/Big Sean/Max Martin collaboration was a kitchen-sink amalgamation of various talents, “Break Free” possesses a laser focus, with Zedd’s outlandish electronica serving as an icy platform for Grande’s towering hook and forced rhymes. An underrated, enthralling dance single.

6. Best Mistake feat. Big Sean – A moody ballad that grows stickier upon each listen, “Best Mistake” carries a tidy collection of impressive production details, the momentary string stabs among them. Big Sean’s guest verse is unnecessary, yet has morphed into an interesting confessional now that the dating rumors are on.

7. Be My Baby feat. Cashmere Cat – Grande’s voice has long invited comparisons to Mariah Carey, and on “Be My Baby,” the younger singer tries to evoke the nonchalant romance of Carey’s best early-90’s R&B cuts. Ironically, the song sounds like it would have been better served by another vocalist, as Grande’s booming pipes threaten to overpower the casual atmosphere. A solid track that moves the album along briskly, but far from Grande’s shining moment on My Everything.

8. Break Your Heart Right Back feat. Childish Gambino – The relative misstep “Be My Baby” allows the following track “Break Your Heart Right Back” to shine even brighter, as Grande sounds infinitely more comfortable with the scorned-lover track and slinky interpolation of Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out.” When Grande needs a break from twirling, Childish Gambino steps in and thumps his chest; the guest verse works, even if you have to overlook the line “The flow so gross, my nickname school lunch.”

9. Love Me Harder feat. The Weeknd – Ariana Grande and the Weeknd come from different musical planets — Grande started on Nickelodeon, Abel Tesfaye started by singing “Codeine cups paint a picture so vivid” on his first mixtape — but as duet partners on the springy “Love Me Harder,” the pairing somehow makes sense. The driving guitar riff in the chorus is delicious 80’s cheese, and the Weeknd’s ultra-sincere crooning works well while serving as callbacks to Grande’s demands for romantic satisfaction.

10. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart – Also known as “the one co-written by One Direction’s Harry Styles,” “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” is another showcase for Grande’s stellar ability to emote all over your average love ballad… but this one does not rise above being average. The final chorus contains some spectacularly high notes, at least.

11. Hands on Me feat. A$AP Ferg – Whoa! An out-of-left-field banger that removes Grande from her teenybopper phase and finds the 21-year-old discovering her inner Rihanna with lines like, “Shirt off, keep the high heels on/Might be a little thing but I like that long, yeah/Don’t let these eyes fool ya/I can take it, hold nothing back, give it to me.” A$AP Ferg dances around the bold song like a court jester, but can’t distract from Grande essentially declaring that this is the end of jeer Nickelodeon phase.

12. My Everything – While Yours Truly ended with “Better Left Unsaid,” a hint at Grande’s foray into dance music, the title track to My Everything concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note. A more affecting ballad than “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” “My Everything” calls back to the album’s intro and finds Grande struggling to regain the solid footing she once had with her partner.

13. Bang Bang with Jessie J & Nicki Minaj (bonus edition) – Jessie, Ari and Nicki team up for this decade’s version of “Lady Marmalade,” and one of the more uncompromisingly fun moments on My Everything. Grande lovingly cedes the spotlight to Jessie J’s massive melismas and Minaj’s double entendres.

14. Only 1 (bonus edition) – “Only 1” unspools like the best kind of bonus-edition track: one that doesn’t quite fit in with the standard edition, but deserves the chance to be digested by the artist’s rabid fan base. Short, snappy and sumptuous, “Only 1” is a light confection that succeeds due to its busy, intricate percussion.

15. You Don’t Know Me (bonus edition) – The deluxe edition of My Everything concludes with Grande’s very first anti-fame rant. “You want a perfect picture to believe in/Then you can’t be looking for me then,” she sings, suggesting further messiness on album number three.

Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’ Reviewed by Rolling Stone

Ariana Grande showed promise on her 2013 debut, Yours Truly – a classic case of “great voice, shame about the tunes,” overseen by Nineties R&B god Babyface. My Everything is where the the 21-year-old Nickelodeon starlet grows up. It’s a confident, intelligent, brazen pop statement, mixing bubblegum pop diva vocals with EDM break beats. The summer smash, “Break Free” sets the tone: Grande sings, “This is the part when I break free,” while German producer Zedd builds up those whisper-to-scream synths, until the bass explodes and so does Grande. Like a Natalie Imbruglia for our more pretentious times, she’s in the zone where “Torn” meets “Turn Down for What.”

Unlike most of today’s young pop royals, Grande’s star power is rooted in her Mariah Carey-esque chops as a singer. She has a more virtuosic than Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, or nearly anyone else on the radio in 2014 – and while she’s far from the only diva-in-training to aim for Mariah’s squeaky-deaky octave-goosing frills over Whitney’s grit and growl, very few have Grande’s sensitive touch. She knows how not to oversing, even when she opens the LP with mostly a cappella intro overdubbing herself into a En Vogue chorale.

The hyperactive hummingbird-in-a-mini-skirt energy of her voice makes sense, because she’s usually singing about how all these boys, boys, boys are driving her out of her wits. Grande doesn’t have much interest in wuss ballads where she plays the victim – she’s an I’m-so-moving-on type, which is what gives her voice it’s emotional kick. “Break Your Heart Right Back” is a righteous manifesto for young women all over this land, as well as a reminder of why your little sister is more punk than you are.

Grande has a hit-or-miss luck with rappers, but mostly misses. After klutzy cameos from Iggy Azelea and Big Sean, Childish Gambino sounds like Rakim by comparison. She makes up for it in bonus track “Bang Bang,” her perfect Max Martin throwdown with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. It fuses Nelly’s “Country Grammar” with Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” which is a truly twisted pop archaeology.

The only flat out terrible song there is “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart,” a masochistic piano drooper where Grande plays the doormat who keeps taking back her no-good man every time he cheats. It doesn’t exactly fit her personality, to say the least. You can practically hear her rolling her eyes as she sings. (And this is the one Harry Styles wrote? Harry, Harry, Harry. Do yourself a favor and get some songwriting tips from Babyface, pronto.)

When Grande reaches for a more adult tone in the ace ballad “Why Try,” she pulls it off. It’s a Ryan Tedder special in the mode of Beyoncé’s “XO” or “Halo,” with Grande contemplating grown-up heartbreak (“We’ve been living like angels and devils”) over those now-familiar martial drum rolls. In clumsier hands, a song like this would turn into pure corn, but she doesn’t waste a line of it. It sounds like there’s no limit to where Ariana Grande could go from here. But as My Everything proves, she’s already a major force.

Ariana Grande for Billboard Magazine

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Ariana Grande is easily mistaken for an old-school good girl. The singer wears Audrey Hepburn-style strapless gowns, travels everywhere with her mother and trades lovey-dovey messages with on-again, off-again boyfriend Jai Brooks (of Internet comedy boy-troupe The Janoskians) over Instagram. Last year, she implored fans to boycott SeaWorld after the damning documentary Blackfish came out. “I think people see me as a little cutesy thing,” she says, looking, in fact, demure and adorable, seated with her feet tucked underneath her on a giant leather couch. “But I’m literally the most sardonic person you’ve ever met.”

Proud oddball Iggy Azalea — Grande’s collaborator on “Problem,” the song-of-the-summer contender that has elevated Grande to superstar status — allows that Grande, while “very sweet,” is definitely “quirky.” Last year, bloggers simply had her pegged as a “mini-Mariah” for the lush, unabashedly ’90s R&B sound of her debut Yours Truly, which went to No. 1. On Aug. 25, Grande presents her follow-up, My Everything, and three huge singles released in the run-up to the album have already redefined her as a state-of-the-art pop diva: Besides “Problem,” a super-catchy, not-at-all-smooth, kiss-off track, there’s the Ibiza-ready “Break Free” and the woman-power anthem, “Bang Bang,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Jessie J.

Grande, who now lives in Los Angeles, says she was “a very weird little girl” growing up in Boca Raton, Florida: “Dark and deranged. I always wanted to have skeleton face paint on or be wearing a Freddy Krueger mask, and I would carry a hockey stick around. I was like a mini-Helena Bonham Carter.” Sitting in the cavelike lounge we’ve retreated to in downtown L.A., she looses a throaty, almost maniacal laugh. “For my fifth birthday party we had a Jaws theme and all my friends left crying. I mean, I still am that way. But when I was little it was more concerning. There was a stage, when I was 3 or 4, where my mom thought I might grow up to be a serial killer.”

Instead, Grande embarked on a show-tunes-inspired career. She started acting in community theater a few years after the creepy birthday party, and by freshman year in high school, she auditioned and scored her first casting in a Broadway show, 13. That led to a supporting role on Nickelodeon’s teen musical sitcom Victorious and a starring part in the Victorious spinoff, Sam & Cat. Republic Records chairman/CEO Monte Lipman signed Grande when she was 17 and little-known beyond Nickelodeon, after a friend excitedly sent him YouTube videos of her covering Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Sam & Catonly lasted one season; the final episode aired in July, amid much drama. But two weeks later, “Break Free” placed No. 1 on iTunes. 

Making a hit record was always the goal. “I remember when I first came to L.A. to meet with my managers, I was like, ‘I want to make an R&B album,’ ” recalls Grande. “They were like” — she drops her voice a few registers –” ‘Um, that’s a helluva goal! Who is going to buy a 14-year-old’s R&B album?!'”

Grande’s restless ambition is accompanied by a twitchy energy: She’s hummingbird-tiny at just five feet tall, often walking with a stutter step thanks to her giant high heels. She makes dramatic arm gestures as she talks, with the words tumbling out of her mouth. “I am hypoglycemic so sometimes I’ll get anxious if I forget to eat,” says Grande. “When I was a little girl, I would turn into the Tasmanian devil.”

“Because she is a perfectionist, the one thing I’ll say to her every now and again is, ‘Ari, perfect is not always about being perfect — it’s those flaws that people can relate to,'” says Lipman. “I don’t want you to get to the point where you’re gritting your teeth and your fists are all balled up.”

Grande agrees. “I’m a micromanaging workhorse,” she says, nodding vigorously. “Absolutely an obsessive-compulsive workaholic.” Even as an 8-year-old kid playing Annie, she didn’t want to stop working. “I just wanted to do every single show,” she remembers. “However many there were in a year, I was in every one, whether I was a chorus girl or the lead or doing the lighting.”

At that time, Grande’s older half brother Frankie claimed star status in the family. “My brother was always the one in the spotlight and I liked that,” she explains. (Frankie’s a performer and producer currently working his outsized personality and dyed Mohawk on the deathless CBS reality show Big Brother.) “It was like he was the entertainment for me.” Grande’s mother is Joan Grande, who runs a telephone and alarm system company and moved with Ariana’s father from New York to Florida when she was pregnant with their daughter. Grande’s father, Edward Butera, owns a successful graphic design firm in Boca Raton. “My brother and my mom and my grandparents were always there,” she recalls. “And my dad, until my parents split up when I was 8 or 9.”

The week I spoke with Grande was a rough one. Her beloved grandfather had just passed away at the age of 90, and she was posting photos of him — as a dashing young man in a fedora; on his deathbed, Grande smiling by his side — in online tributes. Like everything else, Grande shares her grief with her fans. In person, though, she struggles to articulate it. “It’s just so fresh and I’m still mourning,” she says in a whisper. “I don’t even know what I would say to be able to encompass what an amazing man he was.” She wipes her forefinger delicately under each eye and smiles. “I mean, how much time do you have?” While in Florida caring for her grand­father, Grande met up with her dad, whom she hadn’t seen in a while. “It was good,” she says. “I love my dad.” But she’s made no secret of the fact that her parents’ divorce and relationship with her father have been tricky. “Everybody with divorced parents knows what it’s like to be in the middle. Even years later I’m still in the middle.”

Grande responded, in part, by cultivating interests from her grandparents. “I have an obsession with all things vintage and classic and old-school, everything from Marlene Dietrich to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to Connie Francis,” she says. “My grandpa was always telling me I should sing songs from the Great American Songbook.” But her most towering influence may be Madonna. After hearing Grande easily harmonize to Madonna albums all afternoon, I half joke that the two should do a song together. “Oh my God, my heart would stop,” she gushes. “She is strength, she is freedom, she is wisdom beyond anybody’s comprehension.” Grande was raised Catholic but “departed from that and started practicing my own things when I was around 12 years old,” she says. Now, like Madonna, Grande practices Kabbalah. “As a fellow Kabbalist, I know how hard it is to exercise those tools in your everyday life,” says Grande. “Especially in a world where everything is so egocentric and all you do is talk about yourself and promote yourself.”

Of course, Grande has had to be a tireless self-promoter — even after making it onto TV, she was posting homemade videos online. Her pleasures now are simple, even sparse: “The most relaxing thing to me is going to the beach at night,” she says. “I mostly do it in Boca.” She’ll rehearse with her dancers, even when there’s no event coming up, for the company. And sometimes she’ll fly out her best friend Alexa Paige, a pal from Florida now in college, for fun. But she’s closest with her mother, who she calls “fierce,” and her brother. They’ll play Heads Up! when a few free minutes open up. Frankie being away on Big Brother “is excruciating, because I have no communication with him, and he’s missed so many things.” The afternoon we spend together, Grande is surrounded by functionaries, but instead of a combination assistant-slash-best friend, it’s Joan who makes sure to bring her two bottles of water — one cold, one at room temperature.

Grande’s also remarkably good at keeping her own counsel. “When she sent me ‘The Way’ featuring Mac Miller,” Lipman recalls, referring to Grande’s first big single, “she goes, ‘I just made a record that is a smash.'” When Lipman asked to start planning the video, she said it was already done. (It’s a sweet, simple clip in which a radiant Grande chastely flirts with Miller.) “That video, which cost virtually nothing, is the only video we ever made for that song,” says Lipman. “It’s got 100 million views, and at the end of the day, that was her.”

In scaling up her sound for My Everything, Grande needed to sacrifice control. “Everything that I was terrified to try and was absolutely positive I would hate, I tried,” she says, explaining that at first she was “intimidated” by “Problem” and wary of recording straight-up dance tracks.

“It’s not like, because Ariana has a huge range, she can only do that kind of music,” says her “Break Free” co-writer Anton Zaslavski, aka Zedd. Grande wasn’t so sure. “I hated it at first,” she says, describing her vocals on “Break Free,” which she sings ahead of the beat. Co-producer Max Martin convinced her to sing in what she calls a “more forward placement.” “I was like no, no, no! Please just let me sing it how I would sing it,” she mock-whines. “But he was like, ‘Just try it. Trust me.'” She loved the results. “I was so pleased when I tried something that I thought — no, that I knew I would hate.”

“Problem” was also a difficult sell. “I loved the idea of it, but the chorus, the whisper was so shocking to me,” says Grande, referring to the unexpected, intimate refrain sung by Big Sean — “I got one less problem without you” — which co-writer Savan Kotecha first dreamed up in an airplane bathroom, and completed for Grande after he was brought in to work on My Everything. (“I sang it into my phone,” he remembers. “I had that voice in my head for a year.”) In the main part, she wanted to show off more of her range — her “normal, I’m-not-screaming voice.” But “what makes an Ariana song an Ariana song is that it’s a song no one else can sing,” says Kotecha. “She’s probably one of, if not the best, technical singers of her generation.”

“When I was 14, I wanted to make a straight-up, like, India Arie record,” remembers Grande, laughing. “Something really soulful.” Is it her inner Bonham Carter that pulls Grande toward what she calls “the bittersweetness” of soul music? “Maybe,” she says, sighing. “I honestly think it could be a past-life thing. You know those things where you love something but you don’t know why, or you’re scared of something but you don’t know why? I feel like all of those things are from another life.”

Obviously there’s more to Grande than a shrill, tightly wound diva in training —Election’s Tracy Flick with a four-octave range. She displays a thoughtfulness and a weirdly sane-seeming mysticism that suggest true depth.

Balancing real life as a person and unreal life as a famous person is a big part of what Grande works on these days. “I never thought it would be a thing for me to go out in my pajamas,” she says. Does she feel pressure to hide aspects of her private life? “I do and sometimes I don’t. I vacillate between saying, ‘I need to keep some things private’ and ‘I should be able to be myself, and I need to share what I love and everything with the world!'”

Grande’s also hard at work planning live shows to support the new album. “I did a tiny tour, but it was very small and intimate and on not much of a stage,” says Grande of the shows she played last year, opening up for Justin Bieber. “It’s new, very new. It’s going to be a big shock for me. Here’s the thing,” she says, leaning forward and speaking in a conspiratorial whisper. “I have to launch this album, and I get to do a tour, which all sounds fine and dandy…but I just love being in the studio. I could start a new album right now, tonight. That sounds the most enticing to me. I love it.”

Check out Ariana’s Billboard Shoot: Behind The Scenes!

(CLOSED) WIN: Ariana Grande’s Seventeen magazine cover

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. THANKS FOR JOINING!

The team at arianatoday.net are happy to announce that we have launched our 3rd giveaway! We have teamed up with Magazine Shack (@Magazine_Shack) this time to giveaway one free copy of Ariana Grande’s ‘Seventeen’ magazine cover which hits stores this month!

HOW TO ENTER

You must follow all the steps above to enter or else your entry will not count.

*This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE! Anyone can win this magazine.

The winner will be picked at a random draw on Wednesday, August 13h at 12:00 PM EST, and the winner will be sent the magazine the following day, August 14th.

Be sure to check out magazine-shack.co.uk for many other magazines including the Seventeen copy we’re giving away here.

Ariana Grande interviewed on Seventeen Magazine

Ariana Grande Reveals How She Beat Insecurity & Found Huge Success

She’s one of the world’s biggest pop stars and has over 50 million followers on social media, but in Seventeen’s September issue, Ariana Grande shares an unfiltered look at her true self. Check out what she had to say about overcoming insecurity and finding success, and read the full story in the new issue on newsstands August 5th.

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On Overcoming Her Insecurities

“Everybody has certain things that make them feel insecure. Even when you overcome a huge battle in your life and you make a ton of progress as a person, there are still things that will upset you and break your heart. But I feel like I’m at a point in my life where love is the most important thing, and I won’t let anything come before it.”

The Social Media Superstar On Selfies

“Everybody makes up these ridiculous captions for their selfies that have nothing to do with the picture, like ‘Layin’ in bed on Saturday.’ It’s like, No, you are not! You just spent an hour getting ready for this picture! We all post a selfie for the same reason—because we feel better about ourselves than usual. So just be like, ‘Hey, I feel good about myself today, so here’s a picture!’”

On Doing Anything For Her Fans

“If my fans want something, I’ll always do my best to give it to them. A lot of my fans are in love with my old music, and they’re always asking me if they can have the songs that didn’t make it on the first album. I had to buy [“Boyfriend Material”], so I could just give it to them for free. I really wanted them to have it because they love it!”

On How Her Grandfather Influenced Her Growing Up

“He was like, ‘you’re a star, I know in my heart you’re going to make this family so proud. You’re a blessing.’ And I was like, oh my god, and started crying, and I trusted it.”

In the issue, out August 5th, Ariana talks a lot about her grandfather, who sadly passed after we went to press. She told us: “This interview took place before I lost my grandfather. Reading it back now is of course very hard, but I’m so grateful that I spoke briefly about some of the wisdom he shared with me in this interview. I hope Seventeen readers find it helpful and can relate.”

The Toughest Thing She Has Ever Had To Deal With

“Falling out of touch with my dad. It’s private, but it happened last year. It took me so long to be okay with it. The thing that got me there was embracing the fact that that I am made up of half my dad, and a lot of my traits come from him. So much of me comes from my father, and for so long, I didn’t like that about myself. I had to accept that it’s okay not to get along with somebody and still love them.”

On Putting Herself Out There And Being Totally Exposed

“It’s tough to spend some of the most important years of your life in front of so many strangers who want to pick you apart. Insecurity has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome. I think everyone my age struggles with that because everyone strives for approval and wants to feel loved.”

On Working With Iggy Azalea On “Problem”

“For me, a collaboration is taking a song that is great, and turning it into a fantastic song. When you hear IGGY [in “Problem”], it screams confidence and girl power, and all these wonderful things.”

The Biggest Lesson She’s Learned In The Past Few Years

“Being okay with not having the answers to everything. I feel like for the first time in my life, I’m really okay. I used to freak out about everything all the time. I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, somebody said this!’ Everything used to be such a big deal! But now, I feel I can handle everything that comes my way with a calm energy.”