ariana grande - story of a superstar.


' they judge me like a picture book, by the colors, like they forgot how to read. ' the career and private life. tw: mentions of the manchester attack, emotional abuse, drugs, trauma, death.

the early days of childhood, acting and growing up.

 

ariana grande butera was born on june 26, 1993 in boca raton, florida to edward butera, a graphic designer and joan grande, a businesswoman. she is of italian descent with sicilian and abruzzese roots.

she took singing and acting very seriously at a young age and made her way to local stages before she was ten years old. as a young child she performed with the fort lauderdale children's theatre, playing her first leading role as the title character in their musical 'annie'. at the age of eight, she performed at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship and with various orchestras. her first big break came in 2008 when she was 15 years old and landed one of the starring roles in the broadway production '13'. for that role she won a national youth theatre association award. ariana dated actor graham phillips for three years after they met at the production of said broadway piece. after they split, she dated her back up dancer jordan viscomi from 2011 until a messy break up in 2012.

her roles on broadway were followed by some small tv parts and ultimately helped her land the role of cat valentine on tv's 'victorious'. the show was followed by the spinoff 'sam and cat' before she took a step back from acting to dive headfirst into her musical career, getting signed by republic records in 2011.

while ariana and her family, mainly her mother and brother, were focused on the early success that she brought upon herself with unmatched ambition and dedication, her parents seperated when she was nine years old and her father left the family, later causing him and ariana to lose contact. ariana attended the pine crest school and later north broward preparatory, but her attendance was cut short by her obligations. in school she struggled with years of bullying, but also made close friends that she still has in her life to this day.

 

 

the beginning of everything, the first popstar days.

 

in 2010 ariana grande began recording her debut studio album called 'yours truly' which was released in 2013 and debuted at number one on the us billboard album charts. it's lead single 'the way' with mac miller debuted at number 10 and grande was later sued for the first time for copying a line from a song by minder music.

on august 31, 2013 she was approached by scooter braun and eventually signed with his management company sb projects. from that moment on her musical career took off and she embarked on her first mini tour 'the listening sessions' in 2013 while also serving as an opening act for justin bieber on his 'believe' tour.

ariana released her second studio album called 'my everything' in 2014 which also debuted at number one on the us billboard album charts. in 2015 she went on her first ever world tour, 'the honeymoon tour' to promote her second album. 

between 2013 and 2015 she was the center of attention in the media time and time again. she performed at every event that was possible for her to attend, headlined multiple award shows and did every red carpet she got invited to. 

adjusting to her new celebrity status was difficult for her. suddenly being pushed into the spotlight, she found herself dealing with severe anxiety for the first time. though making music was everything she had wanted, all the cameras that were suddenly surrounding her and the interviews she had to do were something she didn't like at all, struggling with shyness and stage fright due to her young age.

grande briefly dated singer nathan sykes and had a fling with youtuber jai brooks, but her relationship with rapper big sean came under the most scrutiny from press and fans when they made their red carpet debut at the 2015 grammys. they lasted nearly a year until ariana began dating her back up dancer ricky alvarez, who was also involved in her infamous donut licking scandal in 2015.

 

 

the new image and worldwide fame.

 

up until 2016, ariana's public image was dominated by innocence, child friendly music and outfits and was rather clean for one of today's biggest upcoming popstars. those attributes proved to be lost shortly after. 

in early 2016, right before finishing her third studio album, ariana fired scooter braun and left his management company. officially that was due to different opinions regarding her career, but later on it went public that she was influenced by her boyfriend at that time, making her believe that she was better off just managing herself. 

she released 'dangerous woman' as the lead single from her studio album of the same name in march of 2016, debuting at number ten on the billboard hot 100. on may 20, 2016 she released her album 'dangerous woman', becoming her first album to debut at number two instead of number one on the charts. 

given the fact that her career was not setting off the way she thought it would and her album, in her eyes, not debuting where it was supposed to, she immediately re-signed with sb projects and scooter braun in september of 2016 and he was officially made her main manager, in charge of all aspects of her career. 

the failure of her album that she had been so afraid of quickly became something she didn't have to think about anymore, with exceptional promo and her career taking off world wide, making her one of the most award winning and desired young singers of modern pop music at just 22 years old.

during this period, multiple rumors and accusations began to make headlines, calling ariana a spoiled diva that was impossible to work with, with fame clearly getting to her head. though she tried to debunk those rumors, her public image was slowly turning from america's sweetheart into someone that did everything for success and didn't take no for an answer. 

in august of 2016, ariana began dating rapper and collaborator mac miller.

 

 

the manchester attack.

 

ariana grande embarked on her 'dangerous woman tour' in february of 2017. the tour was very focused on her new image, to distance herself from her childlike look and make herself a name as a singer that was going to be taken seriously.

on may 22, 2017 a suicide bomber detonated a bomb as people were leaving the manchester arena, following ariana's sold out concert. 22 people died and 1017 were injured, most of them children. several hundred more suffered psychological trauma, including ariana herself. 

her tour was brought to a halt immediately and ariana travelled from manchester back to florida to be with her family and receive therapy. however, her and her team decided that cancelling the entire tour was setting the wrong example, refusing to let hate win. 

on june 4, 2017 ariana hosted a benefit concert in manchester, titled 'one love manchester' at which she performed along with several other high profile artists. the benefit concert raised over 17 million pounds for the victims by august.

ariana managed to finish her world tour in december of 2017, but neither her stage presence nor her mental state were the same after the attack, leading her to eventually be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd). once her tour was finished, she took time away from the public to focus on herself.

 

 

the comeback, followed by tragedy.

 

ariana began working on her next album in 2016, but the events in manchester gave a hard reset to the project. she released 'no tears left to cry' as the lead single from 'sweetener' in april 2018, debuting at number three on the billboard hot 100. 'no tears left to cry' and it's music video showed that her world had been turned upside down, but that she was actively working through it, hoping to bring light, love and comfort with her comeback song.

in august 2018, her fourth studio album 'sweetener' was released and debuted at number one on the billboard album charts. she simultaneously charted nine songs from the album on the hot 100.

ariana began dating pete davidson in may 2018, before either of them had confirmed they'd broken up with their longtime partners. within the span of two weeks, ariana revealed that her relationship with mac miller had been extremely toxic and she got engaged to pete davidson. their relationship was extremely public and scrutinized by the media.

on september 7, mac miller unexpectedly died from a drug overdose. fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol were found in his system. ariana mourned the loss of her ex-boyfriend, who she still referred to as her best friend, and described her grief as pretty all consuming. 

while ariana's fans were quick to try to comfort her, there were countless people that blamed her for miller's death, to the point where a group of people showed up at her home with knives and she had to be hospitalized due to a panic attack.

on september 18, 2017 ariana's team issued a statement that calrified that she would be taking some time away from the spotlight to heal and mend and would be staying close to home and pull out of every upcoming appearance to spend time with her loved ones. 

on october 14, 2017 it was confirmed that ariana and pete had called off their engagement and ended their relationship. 

ariana later on confirmed that only therapy saved her life during that time and that she was still severely struggling with overcoming those events.

 

 

thank u next, a short time of self-love.

 

in november 2018 ariana released the single 'thank u, next' and announced her fifth studio album of the same name. the song debuted at number one on the billboard hot 100 and spent seven consecutive weeks atop.

her album 'thank u, next' was released on february 8, 2019 and debuted at number one on the billboard album charts. it broke the records for the largest streaming week for a pop album and for a female album.

just a few days after her album was released, ariana began dating shawn mendes, getting into what appeared to be a healthy, fun relationship.

she also appeared to be healing from past events, embarking on her third world tour, 'the sweetener world tour', which began on march 18, 2019.

 

 

the fast rise before an even faster downfall.

 

only days after embarking on her tour, ariana and shawn ended their relationship. the official reason was their conflicting schedules. however, rumors that proved to be true after a while revealed that shawn had been involved with other woman and ariana decided to end their relationship before any serious feelings could surface. 

her tour was harshly criticized shortly after the first couple of shows due to ariana having multiple anxiety attacks and breaking down in tears on stage during each concert, concerning fans and the media and making them wonder if she was in the right mental state to be touring. 

those concerns were quickly pushed into the background on march 28, 2019 when it became public that ariana was now dating her long-term manager scooter braun. the two of them found themselves in a romantic relationship after ariana seeked comfort after her most recent break up, deciding to give their love a try. 

while being on tour and away from her family and friends, ariana spent her entire time living in her tour bus and hotel rooms with scooter, causing their relationship to become very serious extremely fast, followed by another whirlwind engagement shortly after they began dating. 

on may 11, 2019 the couple got married on a short break from tour.

due to her reputation when it came to relationships and her fear of failure, ariana was extremely set on keeping up the image of an ideal love, finding herself in the role of not only a superstar but a wife with the responsibilities that came with it for the first time. 

it didn't take long until alarming rumors surfaced, of ariana's mental health declining quickly and severely and her relationship becoming more controlling and toxic by the day. though her and her husband were working hard on debunking those rumors, after a while the general public and her family and friends were extremely concerned and worried about ariana who had completely withdrawn from everyone, only paying attention to her tour and scooter. 

months passed and rumors slowly faded away, with ariana seemingly being at the peak of her career, winning every award and delivering flawless shows every other night, having established a perfect facade that the public wasn't able to see through. 

the couple also welcomed their first child, scarlett marie braun. to this day, ariana describes her daughter's birth as the moment that will forever be the happiest one of her life.

on december 7, 2019 news broke that ariana and scooter were getting a divorce after an incident that made ariana withdraw from the public completely. she continued her tour, but her life was falling apart quicker than the media was able to notice. a few days after her divorce, her long term friend alexander turner first introduced ariana to cocaine, advertising it as something that would take her pain away. it didn't take long for her to became hooked on the drug, her friend supplying her endlessly as long as she was giving him the affection he was asking for. 

she was spiralling out of control quickly, her ex husband, ex boyfriends, family and friends trying everything they could to get her back on the right path, but the emotional abuse she endured for a year made her close off completely.

 

 

the downward spiral.

 

after her last show on december 22, 2019 ariana withdrew from the public once again with the darkest time of her life ahead of her. 

as 2020 began, she was heavily using drugs, drinking alcohol and getting involved with multiple men at once, including her supplier alex turner, desperately trying to numb her pain. she was losing her friends, getting into multiple public fights with other artists and according to the public, 'ruining her own career'. 

even though she was still publicly trying to get back with her ex husband, the one person she was relying on through that whole period of time was her long time friend anton zaslavski who she got close to in early 2019. their friendship quickly led to rumors of the two of them being romantically involved, but they were very set on denying that. 

as time went on, ariana continued to fall into a deeper hole with behavior that slowly began to spark hate instead of pity, setting off a cycle of hurt and hate that caused her to lose everyone she had been close to prior to her divorce, except for anton. 

it didn't take long until she rekindled her romance with scooter and swore off the drugs for him, only lasting for a few weeks until they went through another public break up. 

at that point, she realized she had to turn her life around, using her immense grief to grow up. 

 

 

growing up, finding peace and learning about true love. 

 

on june 19, 2020 ariana and anton made their relationship public and revealed to the world that they were dating. but due to their dating history, their relationship was scrutinized and picked apart by the public right away, giving them an extremely rocky start. 

after learning how to seperate the rumors of the people around them from their love, the couple learned how to slowly grow closer together and trust each other. ariana had to rebuild her entire understanding of love from scratch, unlearning the toxic and harmful ways that she had been taught by her prior relationships. 

while working on their relationship, ariana worked on her sixth studio album. 'positions' was released on october 30, 2020. it debuted at number one on the billboard album charts, the lead single 'positions' debuting at number one on the billboard hot 100. she dedicated the entire album to anton.

ariana quickly became pregnant again, a pregnancy that both her and anton had been wishing for ever since they began dating secretly. their daughter jade grande zaslavski was born in november of 2019. due to her pregnancy and the ongoing pandemic, ariana was forced to spend a lot of time reflecting on herself and paving the way to grow into the woman that she wanted to be. 

on march 21, 2021 ariana and anton got married, determined to make things work and completely sure that this time, both of them had found the love they were searching for their entire life. 

 

 

the present and the future. 

 

to this day, ariana has yet to embark on another tour to promote her album 'positions'. instead she focused on her family and relationship, as well as healing from a past that wounded her in ways she is only now coming to terms with. 

currently she is working on her seventh studio album while carefully planning her next tour to promote 'positions' and her next album at the same time. 

however, her focus has completely shifted from her career and her reputation to healing from trauma and maintaining healthy relationships. as of now, there are no deadlines set for music or a tour and she is finding her place as a rather independent artist without being pressured by her label or management. 

even though singing still plays an extremely important role in her life, she is curious to branch out into other parts of the entertainment industry. she is involved in several acting jobs, she is a coach on the upcoming season of 'the voice' and is testing her abilities as an executive producer, all while putting her main focus on doing the growing up that she never got to do and find out who she really is at her core without the public telling her who to be, one step at a time. 

 

 

 

to be continued.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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