Ariana Grande talks Sweetener on Beats 1 Radio

On August 17th, Ariana Grande visited Beats 1 studios to promote her newly released album Sweetener! She talked about a variety of topics, from the album, to Pete Davidson, to Manchester, and many more!

Check out the photos and videos below!


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 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 pulls out of Manchester tribute at the 2018 BRIT Awards

On February 21st, it was announced that Ariana Grande has pulled out of her performance at the 2018 BRIT Awards after doctors told her she was too ill to fly to Britain.

The 24-year-old singer was due to pay tribute to the 22 people killed at her concert in Manchester last year but has now been replaced by Liam Gallagher with just hours to spare.

Despite wanting to perform anyway, doctors have insisted she is not up to it, the BRITs chief executive has confirmed.

BRITs boss Geoff Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘We think it’s really important to recognise that terrible atrocity and the impact on so many lives so I can confirm we did have Ariana Grande lined up to make a performance tonight.

‘Unfortunately she was not able to travel on doctor’s orders, she’s not well, and I can say that there will be something tonight, I can’t say any more than that but people should tune in and watch. And hopefully it will be a fitting remembrance and recognition of what happened, which was so terrible.’

Insiders also told the Mirror she was ‘ordered by doctors not to fly’, saying: ‘It was utter chaos when the call came in that Ariana couldn’t do it. ‘It’s a race against time to get someone to do what is very much the centrepiece of the entire show.’

Following the news, the newspaper revealed: ‘Liam has saved the day by stepping in at the last minute. It’s a perfect choice. It’s going to be the moment of the evening.’

Miss Grande was believed to have been lined up for the top spot, with sources stating: ‘It will be the biggest talking point of the night. The whole industry wants to come together to pay their respects to the victims.

‘The effects of that terrible night resonated far and wide in the music industry and it’s only right everyone comes together to pay their respects.’

He could be singing Live Forever, which he sang with Coldplay’s Chris Martin at the Manchester One Love concert, according to reports.

The Mirror’s Tom Bryant took to Twitter to reveal: ‘BREAKING: Ariana Grande ‘ordered by her doctor not to fly’ after falling ill at the last minute before the BRITs.

‘A source close to the star exclusively tells the Mirror: ‘Ariana fell ill and was going to come in spite of that, but was ordered by her doctor to not fly.’

Liam Gallagher has not always been on good terms with BRIT bosses, launching a furious tirade after they rejected his initial request to perform at tonight’s ceremony. The Oasis frontman, 45, who famously swore, dropped his microphone and gave his award to the crowd during his acceptance speech at the Brits in 2010, labelled show bosses ‘too scared’ to have him among the line-up.

But the tragedy of the incident that devastated his home city appears to have changed his attitude.

Source: DailyMail.co.uk

PHOTOS: Ariana Grande spotted in Los Angeles (02/23)

On February 23rd, Ariana Grande has been seen for the first time since illness forced her to pull out of this week’s Brit Awards.

Looking far from her usual bubbly self, the 24-year-old carried her black boots as she left boyfriend Mac Miller’s house on Friday morning.

 

The sighting came as a source close to the singer revealed to DailyMail.com her ‘devastation’ at pulling out of the tribute to the Manchester bombing victims.

It was Ariana’s own idea to perform at the show, the source told DailyMail.com.

‘She had a fever, a very specific type of fever,’ the source said. ‘She was devastated, honestly she spent a day crying, because she wanted to go but the doctor would not let her. She was genuinely distraught.

‘It was all her idea, they didn’t ask Ariana to go. It was her idea, she approached them. She said she felt like the Brits was the first major show and she needed to do something and she was devastated she wasn’t able to be there.’  The surprise performance was planned as a tribute to the 22 killed at her concert in May last year.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device as fans left the Manchester Arena.

Two weeks later, Grande returned to the city after organizing the One Love Manchester benefit concert, which reached a global audience of millions.

She had hoped to do something similar at the Brit Awards, before illness struck.

After Ariana pulled out, Liam Gallagher took to the stage in her place.

Recovering from her illness back home in Los Angeles, a dressed down Ariana looked low key on her Friday outing.

Bare-legged, despite the cold Los Angeles day, she wore a baggy sweatshirt, and carried a laptop at her front.

The American pop star wore her bleached blonde hair in a casual top knot, and appeared to be make-up free.

Source: DailyMail.co.uk

Ariana Grande becomes the first honorary citizen of Manchester

On July 12th, the city council of Manchester unanimously agreed the gesture as a thank you for the way she responded to the Manchester Arena attack in May.

Ariana Grande has said she is “moved and honoured” after being made an honorary citizen of Manchester.

“I don’t know what to say,” Grande wrote on Instagram. “Words don’t suffice.

“I’m moved and honoured. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you.”

She ended her message with a bee symbol – the city’s emblem.

The singer was praised for returning to stage the One Love Manchester concert less than two weeks after the attack on her arena gig, which killed 22 people.

‘She brought comfort to thousands’

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said it would have been understandable if she hadn’t returned.

“But no – instead she, as an artist, a performer, was determined that she would not perform again until she had returned to Manchester to perform,” he said.

“In doing so, she brought comfort to thousands, she raised millions for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and became the first patron of that fund.

“And that’s why I propose that Ariana Grande is made the first honorary citizen of the city of Manchester.”

  • Council honour attack ‘acts of courage’
  • Ariana Grande’s tribute to attack victim
  • Joy shines through pain at benefit gig

There are currently no plans for a ceremony to award Grande her citizenship in person.

Sir Richard Leese also hailed those who helped in the aftermath for showing the “spirit of Manchester… of strength and defiance”.

Anne Marie McNally from Prestatyn, Denbighshire, who was at the Manchester Arena concert, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the council should prioritise official recognition for the emergency services and members of the public who helped on the night.

“There were a lot of people on that evening who ran in to help,” she said. “These people were there on the ground trying to save people, trying to help people as much as possible, helping children to get home to their parents.

“And the emergency services of course – they’re human beings like us. Yes they’re trained and they’re skilled but they still had an awful lot to deal with. I’m sure that they’ve come away from the situation as traumatised as the ones that were in there.”

Source: BBC.com

Ariana Grande and friends perform at One Love Manchester

On June 4th, Ariana Grande performed at the One Love Manchester benefit concert at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground that she set up and created. She has invited many artists like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Niall Horan, Pharrell Williams, Little Mix, Coldplay, Victoria Monet, Imogen Heap, and many more!

All proceeds from the event benefit the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was established by the Manchester City Council and the British Red Cross following the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. Over 55,000 people attended the show. It was announced that they raised over $9,000,000, exceeding the $2,000,000 goal!

Check out all of the photos and videos of the whole show!

During the show, a video where many other artists who couldn’t attend the show sent their heartfelt speeches concerning the Manchester bombing.

REHEARSALS

BACKSTAGE

MERCHANDISE

 WHOLE SHOW

  1. Marcus Mumford – Timshel
  2. Take That – Shine
  3. Take That – Giants
  4. Take That – Rule The World
  5. Robbie Williams – Strong
  6. Robbie Williams – Angels
  7. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
  8. Pharrell Williams & Miley Cyrus – Happy
  9. Miley Cyrus – Inspired
  10. Niall Horan – Slow Hands
  11. Niall Horan – This Town
  12. Miley Cyrus – Inspired
  13. Ariana Grande – Be Alright
  14. Ariana Grande – Break Free
  15. Little Mix – Wings
  16. Victoria Monét & Ariana Grande – Better Days
  17. Stevie Wonder – Love’s In Need of Love Today
  18. Black Eyed Peas & Ariana Grande – Where Is The Love?
  19. Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
  20. Ariana Grande & Parrs Wood Choir – My Everything
  21. Mac Miller & Ariana Grande – The Way
  22. Mac Miller – Dang!
  23. Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande – Don’t Dream It’s Over
  24. Ariana Grande – Side to Side
  25. Katy Perry – Part of Me
  26. Katy Perry – Roar
  27. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
  28. Justin Bieber – Cold Water
  29. Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder
  30. Chris Martin & Ariana Grande – Don’t Look Back In Anger
  31. Coldplay – Sit Down/Fix You
  32. Coldplay – Viva la Vida
  33. Coldplay – Something Just Like This
  34. Liam Gallagher – Rock n’ Roll Star
  35. Liam Gallagher – Wall of Glass
  36. Liam Gallagher & Coldplay – Live Forever
  37. Ariana Grande & Convidados – One Last Time
  38. Ariana Grande – Somewhere Over the Rainbow

PHOTOS: Ariana Grande arrives at Stansted Airport in London, EN

 

On June 2nd, Ariana Grande arrived in Britain by private jet at the London Stansted Airport this morning ahead of her One Love Manchester benefit concert. She was accompanied by Joan, Edward and Mac Miller on the flight. The star will be joined by top artists including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Take That and Miley Cyrus.

The Dangerous Woman Tour – Manchester, EN (05/22)

On May 22nd, Ariana Grande continues The Dangerous Woman Tour as she performed in Manchester, England at the Manchester Arena. Victoria Monet and Bia performed as the opening acts.

Despite the worldwide breaking news of the Manchester bombing after the show, the tour will still go on after June 5th, while the other shows before that day are cancelled.

Check out the photos + videos below!

SHOW


Be Alright
Everyday
Bad Decisions
Let Me Love You
Intro
Knew Better
Forever Boy
One Last Time
Touch It
Leave Me Lonely
Side To Side
Bang Bang
Greedy
Focus
I Don’t Care
Moonlight
Love Me Harder
Break Free
Sometimes
Thinking Bout You
Problem
Into You
Dangerous Woman

Meet & Greet

BREAKING: Suspected bomb strikes at Ariana Grande’s Manchester show, postpones Dangerous Woman Tour + celebrities’ reactions

On May 22nd, a terrible incident has taken place at the Manchester Arena where Ariana was performing for the Dangerous Woman Tour. Two bombings were heard outside of the arena, as everyone evacuated after the show was over.

It was reported that 22 people have died, and 119 people were severely injured.  The Islamic State Group claims to be responsible for the attack.

The police have identified somebody. The attacker, identified by police as Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton of Libyan descent, detonated an improvised explosive device as concertgoers were leaving the arena.

Ariana’s management team released a statement a few days after that The Dangerous Woman Tour will be cancelled for all of the shows through June 5th. The tour comes back after that day.


Ariana broke the silence by tweeting her apologies for a fun night gone wrong for many

According to TMZ, Ariana Grande has indefinitely suspended her world tour in the wake of the terrorist bombing.

Sources connected to Ariana tell TMZ that she will not perform Thursday in London and has decided for now to put the entire European tour on hold. She was scheduled to perform in England, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.

As they reported, Ariana is inconsolable, “in hysterics” after the bombing. As one source said, she’s incapable of performing for anyone. She and her team, we’re told, are also deeply concerned about security.

Ariana’s manager, Scooter Braun, said, “We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act,” adding, “We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers.”

Here are a bunch of the celebrities’ reaction to the bombing:

The Dangerous Woman Tour – Manchester, NH (02/19)

On February 19th, Ariana Grande continues The Dangerous Woman Tour as she performed in Manchester, New Hampshire at the SNHU Arena. Victoria Monet and Bia were the opening acts

Ariana performed Esta Noche with Bia after Thinking Bout You, as there is an interchangeable part after that song in which she can perform any song she wants.

Check out the photos + videos below!

SHOW


Be Alright
Everyday
Bad Decisions
Let Me Love You
Intro
Knew Better
Forever Boy
One Last Time
Touch It
Leave Me Lonely
Side To Side
Bang Bang
Greedy
I Don’t Care
Moonlight
Love Me Harder
Break Free
Sometimes
Thinking Bout You
Esta Noche w/ Bia
Problem
Into You
Dangerous Woman

Meet & Greet

Backstage