Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993) is an American actress and singer who played the role of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon TV series Sam & Cat, after portraying the same character in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious, where she gained popularity in.
Grande was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. She is of Italian descent, half Sicilian, half Abruzzese. Her name was inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat. Grande's parents are Joan Grande and Edward Butera, a graphic designer. She has an older brother, Frankie Grande, who is a performer and producer. He also was one of Grande's backup dancers on her first tour. Grande sang as a soloist in various symphonies, such as South Florida's Philharmonic, Pops and Symphonia Orchestras. She has sang various times in NYC's Birdland and has sang the National Anthem on the first live broadcast of the Florida Panthers hockey league.
2008–12: Beginnings and acting breakthroughEdit
In 2008, Ariana Grande played the role of Charlotte in the musical 13 on Broadway, for which she won a National Youth Theatre Association Award. When she joined the musical, Grande left her high school, North Broward Preparatory School, but continued to be enrolled. The school sent materials to her so she could study with tutors. In 2010, she created the original role of Miriam in the reading of the new musical, Cuba Libre, written and produced by Desmond Child. Grande played the character Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television show Victorious, which premiered in March 2010. Grande was also featured in Dream Magazine as the cover girl for the August 2011 issue. In 2011, Ariana voiced an animated fairy, Princess Diaspro, on the Nickelodeon series Winx Club and starred as Snow White along with Charlene Tilton and Neil Patrick Harris in the Pasadena Playhouse production of A Snow White Christmas from December 13–23, 2012. In 2012, Grande sang a duet with MIKA on the single version of his track Popular Song. In the following month it was also announced that Victorious's current season (Season 3, which was split to a fourth season) will be the last. It was announced that the third soundtrack would be released on November 6, 2012 titled as Victorious 3.0. The first single was called "L.A. Boys" (which was performed by Grande and Victoria Justice) and the music video was released October 18, 2012. Victorious ended on February 2, 2013. It was announced during the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on August 3, 2012 that Sam & Cat, which would pair Grande from Victorious and Jennette McCurdy from iCarly together in a traditional "buddy sitcom" setting, where they would reprise their roles as Cat Valentine and Sam Puckett. Grande tweeted stating that she wasn't hoping for Victorious to end and was looking forward to being on both shows. Sam & Cat was picked up by Nickelodeon on November 29, 2012. The pilot showed them becoming roommates who launch a babysitting business for income.
2013-present: Music breakthroughEditOn March 26, 2013, Ariana's first single off her debut album, "The Way" featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, was released. It became an instant sensation debuting at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and receiving a double platinum certification from the RIAA. Her album was also preceded by the singles"Baby I", "Almost Is Never Enough" featuring Nathan Sykes of The Wanted, and "Right There" featuring Big Sean.
Grande's first studio album, Yours Truly, was released in the US on September 3rd, 2013 after three years of work. The album is a throwback to the 1990's R&B feel-good music and inspired by artists like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Yours Truly gained critical acclaim upon its release as Grande was praised for her vocals as well as refreshing musical style. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 making her the 15th female overall to have their debut album reach #1 on the charts in its first week of release.
In December 2013, Grande released an EP named Christmas Kisses which had songs "Last Christmas", "Love is Everything", "Snow in California" and "Santa Baby" featuring Elizabeth Gillies.
In mid January, Grande confirmed that she is working on her second album, which will be released sometime this year. Her first single off of the album "Problem" was released on April 28, 2014. The song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 beating Grande's previous song "The Way" and sold over 438,000 copies in its first week. This makes Grande have on one the biggest debuts in history, the fourth-highest for a female, and the youngest person to sell over 400,000 copies in its first week. It has since sold over one million copies and peaked at #2 on the charts.