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The evolution of Ariana Grande into a 'Dangerous Woman'

Published March 17, 2017 9:01 am

Concert preview • In a decade, singer has gone from a Nickelodeon sidekick to household name.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ariana Grande's music is inescapable.

Switching between channels on the radio, flipping through videos on YouTube or scrolling through the latest on Spotify, chances are high that Grande will pop up in one form or another.

It's hard to believe that less than a decade ago, no one had heard of the pop phenom who brings her signature high ponytail to Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

How did the Italian-American artist become a household name? Here's a look at the five moments that helped her secure her place in the spotlight.

Her time at Nickelodeon

Grande is cast as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon's "Victorious" and the spinoff "Sam & Cat." In 2010, Grande started playing the quirky friend of title character Tori Vega, played by Victoria Justice. After four seasons, "Victorious" ended but made way for "Sam & Cat," featuring Jennette McCurdy of "iCarly" fame alongside Grande. The two play roommates who start a babysitting service to make some extra cash. Antics ensue, but Grande's voice is rarely front and center in the show.

Hitting the charts

"Sam & Cat" had a short run, lasting only one season before a whirl of cast infighting, the leaking of some racy photos of McCurdy and then Grande's rising musical career ended the show. In 2014, Grande's focus on her music paid off. She ended up having several Top 10 singles, including "Problem," "Break Free," "Love Me Harder" and "Bang Bang," a "Lady Marmalade"-esque collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. Her songs stayed on the Top 100 charts for months, cementing her place on the radio waves.

One woman, many voices

Grande kept her acting chops and vocal cords honed as she performed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Saturday Night Live" in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Fallon challenged Grande to a game of musical impressions, which included her belting out power notes to "Can't Feel My Face" as she channeled Celine Dion. The next year, she performed a skit on "Saturday Night Live" that had her filling in for several different singers as a streaming radio station lost power. Her Shakira impression sounded as if the Latin pop star had taken center stage.

Taking over the video space

It's clear that Grande is no longer a Nickelodeon star — her wardrobe in her "Dangerous Woman" music video is exclusively black lace lingerie. While her videos have gotten significantly sexier, her fun-loving attitude is still evident in her portrayal of a spin instructor wearing 6-inch heels and neon in "Side to Side" and the simple card games she plays with her secret lover in a hotel in "Into You."

Bringing it full circle

While Grande hasn't been in a kid's show in several years, her most recent efforts include a duet with John Legend, singing the title song from the new, live-action Disney "Beauty and the Beast" film. She is taking the role over from Dion, and going back to her original target audience.

Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Tour

With Little Mix and Victoria Monea.

When • Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $26.95-$196.95; Smith's Tix






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