The Best Year of Her Career, The Worst Year of Her Life


Brendan Hindle

Ariana Butera Grande Gomez was born on June 26, 1993, in Boca Raton Florida to parents Joan Grande and Edward Butera. At age 15 in 2008 Grande started her musical journey staring in the original Broadway musical 13 as Charlotte. She then became famous for her role as Cat Valentine in the nickelodeon comedy series Victorious. Her character was in fact was so popular it gained a spinoff series called Sam and Cat starring alongside Janette McCurdy who played Sam Pucket in the also popular nickelodeon show iCarly. After the show being cancelled only after 2 seasons Grande then signed to Republic Records in 2011.

In 2013 she then released her debut album Yours Truly. She topped the billboard charts with the album’s lead single “The Way” featuring Mac Miller. The song charted at #9 and spent 26 weeks on the billboard hot 100. Her album also reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

In August of 204 she released her sophomore album My Everything having hits like “Bang Bang” featuring Jessie J & Nicki Minaj and “Problem” featuring Iggy Azelea.

Then in 2016 Grande released her 3rd studio album Dangerous Woman which was certified double platinum selling over 420,000 copies which rose her to mainstream status.

On May 22, 2017, in England Grande was performing part of her Dangerous Woman Tour in the Manchester Arena. Moments after her final song a suicide bombing attack made by an Islamic extremist was detonated. 14, 200 people attended the concert as 22 victims were killed and 1,017 were injured. After the traumatic incident Grande wrote and released which “get well soon” the fifteenth track off her 4th studio album Sweetener. She intended for the song to be a “musical hug” for anyone going through something difficult. Ariana explained in an emotional interview with Beats 1 Apple Music and said “It’s just about being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety. There’s just some dark sh*t out there, man. We just have to be there for each other as much as we can. You just never f*cking know. “get well soon” is really about personal demons and anxiety and more intimate tragedies as well, stressing that mental health is so important. People don’t pay enough mind to [mental health] because we have things to do. We have schedules; we have jobs; we have kids and places to be, pressure to fit in, Instagram stories, whatever f*cking facade trying to keep up. People don’t pay attention to what’s happening inside.” Grande took time away from the spotlight to work on her mental health and after on June 4th returned to Manchester for a benefit concert to honor those whose lives were lost in the attack called “One Love Manchester”.

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After the release of her album Ariana then moved on to not only be nominated but to win her very first Grammy for best pop vocal album of the year for her album Sweetener.

About a month after the release of Sweetener one of Ariana’s former exes and best friends passed. Malcolm James McCormick (Mac Miller) died on September 7th, 2018. In an interview with Vouge Ariana opens up about the rapper’s death. She says “Its pretty all-consuming. By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, f***. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming…less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”

In June earlier that year Grande got engaged to comedian Pete Davidson after meeting on SNL.

In December of 2019 Ariana released her 5th studio album “thank u, next”. With her 3 leading singles b reaching records she held the top 3 spots of the billboard chart with her 3 singles which included 7 rings, “thank u, next”, and “break up with your girlfriend, im bored”. As “7 rings” and “thank u, next” both charted #1 and “break up with your girlfriend, im bored” charted at #2. The only other group who was able to achieve this was the Beatles, as today she is still the first and only solo artist to ever do so. As all 3 songs have over 1 billion streams each on Spotify the album was also certified double platinum. The album was also nominated for 3 Grammys for the 2020 Grammys.  The album included popular songs like bad idea, in my head, and imagine. Billboard ranked it as the #1 album of the year.

“ghostin” the 8th track on Grandes’s album thank u, next has a deeper meaning than some might think. It is one of Grandes slower and sadder songs than her normal upbeat pop songs. She said that it was definitely the hardest song to record when making the album. The song’s meaning, according to Grande, is “feeling badly for the person you’re with bc you love somebody else. feeling badly bc he can tell he can’t compare…. and how I should be ghosting him,” she said. Fans believed that person for Grande is likely Pete Davidson, whom she started dating and got engaged to shortly after her breakup with Mac Miller. Miller and Grande dated for two years before calling it quits, and Miller’s passing had such a tragic effect on Grande later that year. Shortly after Millers death she and Davidson broke up.

Her lyrics in this song reference both Pete Davidson and Mac Miller many times.

I know you hear me when I cry

I try to hold it in at night

While you’re sleeping next to me

Grande and Davidson did in fact live together while they were dating and continued as they got engaged.

But it’s your arms that I need this time

Look at the cards we’ve been dealt

In this Ariana is referring to both of her and Petes traumas that they suffer. Davidson lost his father in the 9/11 attacks and when they were together Grande got his father’s fire fighter number tattooed on her. Grande also is open about how she suffers from PTSD after the Manchester bombing at one of her concerts.

Baby you do it so well

You’ve been so understanding you’ve been so good

And I’m putting you through more than one ever should

And I’m hating myself cause you don’t want to

Admit that it hurts you

Grandes ex Mac Miller passed away of an overdose in September of 2018. It deeply affected her on an emotional level because they dated for two years and were friends for even longer. Ghostin is a term that Ariana uses to describe that she doesn’t want her relationship with make to haunt their engagement, and she is upset with the fact that Pete had to watch her go through what she went through when Mac Miller passed.

About a year later in October Grande released her 6th studio album titled Positions and in June of 2021 got married to relator Dalton Gomez after getting engaged in January of 2020. She is happy and thriving more than ever.