If there was ever a sign that you may have quite the successful music career, getting your first Broadway job at 15 is probably it. And teenage Ariana Grande didn’t stop there.
The (Really) Early Years!
After a couple of roles on the hugely popular Nickelodeon channel in 2009, Ariana was already at peak teen-idol status. She also made a fair few appearances singing at the famous New York jazz club, Birdland – we are particularly jealous of that bit!
However, in true millennial fashion, Ariana was uploading her singing videos to YouTube, and THIS is where her path towards a pop-singing career began. It was Monte Lipman, CEO of Republic Records(!), who would notice these videos, and get her on the Republic roster as quickly as possible.
And her success had only just begun here. Her first album, Yours Truly, debuted at number 1 in the Billboard 200 albums chart. Knowing this in hindsight, it comes as absolutely NO surprise! If only she could have seen what the next 7 years of her career would look like too.
Dangerous Record-Breaking Woman
The release of Dangerous Woman in 2016 would bring one of the first record breaking moments for Ariana, in that she became the first artist to have the lead single from each of her first three albums in the top 10. The. FIRST. Artist. Yep, that’s EVER! And it was the same again with album number 4. In what has now become true Ariana style, the lead single of Sweetener shot straight to number 1 too (breaking that record yet again). She’s making it look very easy at this point!
But the first of her incredible hits to get straight to that number 1 spot was “Thank U, Next”, the ultimate self-empowerment pop/R&B song, mentioning many of her past relationships. The track was released in November 2018 with absolutely no prior warning or announcement given. It’s safe to say that her fans, and the rest of the world, were shook to the core when “Thank U, Next” hit streaming platforms and radio stations that day. The music video broke the YouTube record for most watched within 24 hours, and the Spotify record for fastest song to reach 100 million streams – it was a mere 11 days, if you were wondering.
On the topic of record breaking, Ariana was also the first solo artist to secure the top 3 Billboard Hot 100 spots ALL at the same time. With “Thank U, Next” at number 3, “Break Up with Your Girlfriend” at 2, and “7 Rings” holding the top spot, she was truly flying with this album! The rest of the pop world were shaking in their boots.
Her Proudest Achievement?
So with accolades a plenty, we simply HAD to include Miss Grande in our syllabus, and you can find her on the cover of Piano Grade 1. And for this feature, we’ve taken it right back to the old days of her career – “Tattooed Heart” from the Yours Truly album. A track that heavily features the piano in its instrumentation, and why not sing along? That is, if you happen to have a Grande four-octave range with whistle tones… No? We don’t either.
That’s all we’ve got for you this week on Artists In Focus! We’ll be back next Tuesday with another incredible star without a doubt, but in the mean time, you can check out previous weeks with big names like Earth, Wind & Fire and Ed Sheeran!