Ariana Grande has grown into one of the biggest pop divas on the planet right before fans’ eyes! Before she graces the small screen for Disney’s Family Singalong on ABC, we’re taking a look back at her rise from Nickelodeon star to global music icon!
Ariana Grande is ready to bring the magical world of Disney into the homes of fans across the country tonight, April 16, on ABC. The “Thank U, Next” songstress, 26, will join Disney alum Demi Lovato, Alan Menken, Elle Fanning, Josh Groban, Darren Criss, Tori Kelly and more for a night of classic Disney songs to offer audiences cooped up in their homes a bit of escapism amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. On April 15, Ariana teased that she would be performing the tune “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from the 1997 animated film Hercules! She posted two black and white photos of the character who sings the song, Megara — or “Meg” — and all but confirmed she’d belt the popular tune when she tweeted on April 16 “at least out loud … I won’t say I’m in love.” But before Ariana graces the small screen, we’re taking a look back at her rise to super stardom and how the Nickelodeon actress became a global sensation!
Many fans first met Ariana when she played Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon series Victorious opposite Victoria Justice. After starring in the series from 2010-2013, Ariana went on to reprise the role in the spin-off series Sam & Cat alongside Jenette McCurdy. Once the series wrapped, Ariana’s focus turned strictly to music. The young star had a talent for performing for a number of years, and already had experience on the stage. Ariana starred as Charlotte in the original Broadway cast of 13, a musical about a young boy who moves from New York City to a small town and navigates a completely new school amid his parents’ divorce. The show debuted on Broadway in 2008, and from there, it was only a matter of time before Ariana skyrocketed to fame!
So many stars saw the potential Ariana had, including Tony-winning actress Kristen Chenoweth. After she met Ariana backstage following a performance of Wicked, Kristen “gave her [Ariana] a wand and I said, ‘Just remember to follow your passion. Do what you love.’ And we stayed close and skip to: she’s the biggest star on the planet,” she shared with Seth Meyers during her November 2019 appearance on his late night talk show. And it seems Ariana completely took Kristen’s advice to heart!
In 2014, at the age of 21, Ariana released her album My Everything, following the success of 2013’s Yours Truly. My Everything included hit tracks like “Break Free,” “Problem,” and “Love Me Harder.” The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Grammy awards and received positive reviews. Ariana went on to earn two Grammy nominations for her 2016 album Dangerous Woman. In 2018, Ariana’s Sweetner was released followed quickly by her album Thank U, Next which earned five Grammy nominations! To date, Ariana’s only Grammy award win has been for Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetner.
But Ariana has so much more in store for her dedicated fans. At just 26, the singer has accomplished so much and built a fan base that continues to love and support her through career triumphs and personal pitfalls. To see how Ariana has transformed over the years, click through the gallery above and checkout Ariana and more stars on Disney’s Family Singalong on ABC tonight, April 16, at 8 pm.