There’s her signature ponytail, her signature thigh-high boots, her signature scandal (Google Doughnutgate 2015), and her signature cat ears that most of the capacity crowd were sporting Thursday night at the Honda Center. Yet none of these things are the reason Grande is the owner of three platinum records, 101 million Instagram followers, and the position of heir apparent to the bedazzled, pop-diva throne. Her signature pipes are responsible for that – all four octaves.
Operating in the same vein as Mariah Carey or early Beyoncé, Grande’’s speciality is powerhouse vocals, a genre hybrid of ’90s-influenced R&B and VMA-ready pop, and ultra-stylized femininity that made monster hits out of “Focus” “Problem” and “The Way.” At 23 years old, it’s her latest album, “Dangerous Woman,” that’s propelled Grande out of teen-queen limbo, and into the grown-up spotlight, something she’s been relishing in sold-out arenas across the US since February for her Dangerous Woman world tour.
A bold move by pop standards, Grande performed every track off of “Dangerous Woman,” taking the stage to the infectious, xylophone beat of “Be Alright,” as male dancers swirled around her and a very “Vogue”-esque video played on the gigantic screen. Like almost all pop queens, Grande performs the required amount of choreography, but never anything that’s going to compromise the quality of her vocals. What did momentarily compromise her, were those signature boots – needle-thin, seven-inch, patent leather, thigh-highs – which caused her to take a tumble during “Bad Decisions.” She recovered like a pro, smoothly spinning down to the ground and giggling before pushing right on through to “Let Me Love You.”
As the "Into You" singer prepared to rock the stage at The Forum in Inglewood, California, she reunited with two of her former Victorious castmates backstage. Leon Thomas III and Matt Bennett -- who played Andre and Robbie, respectively, on the Nickelodeon show -- spent some time with Grande, with Thomas sharing a snap of the three hanging out.
The mini-reunion took place just four days after Victorious celebrated its seventh anniversary, with Grande chiming in on Twitter about how much she misses bibble (the fictional colorful popcorn the Victorious characters loved on the show). While it's not totally clear what Grande, Thomas and Bennett did during their backstage hangout, surely there was some reminiscing.
Ariana Grande is definitely on our short list for celebrity hair #goals. Whether she’s literally rocking a floor-length ‘do, subtly changing hair colors, or getting her crimp on, Ari likes to regularly change up her hair look. But while her hair “default” is usually a long brunette ponytail, that wasn’t always the case.
The singer is currently fresh off her amazing new song “Heatstroke” with Calvin Harris, Young Thug, and Pharrell, and on her Dangerous Woman tour, where she’s serving up drool-worthy merch and posting Instas of her gorge tour costumes. But during some downtime from performing, she hopped onto Instagram to share a totally familiar look.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you: that’s Ariana rocking the red hair of her Victorious character Cat Valentine. Obviously, the little “miss valentine” caption gives it away, though Cat didn’t have bangs on Victorious or the spin-off show Sam & Cat. Even so, we were shocked to see the red hair. Ari dramatically changed up her look when she went the full pop star route, and she’s never really gone back to that color since.
Ariana Grande has built a career on light and fluffy pop anthems. But she spent much of Saturday night in the dark.
Grande avoided spotlights Saturday night inside Toyota Center like a new hairstyle. At times it was almost impossible to see her onstage. Lasers and smoke made for an even hazier visual.
If she's going for mood lighting on her Dangerous Woman Tour, that mood would have to be sleepy.
Opening number "Be Alright" was very clearly derived from Madonna, from the voguing to the plain black costumes to the black and white imagery. But it was an oddly muted and dark interpretation that set the tone for the entire show.
Grande is small in stature and presence. So it's also puzzling why she performed several songs wrapped inside a bulky jacket that made her seem even smaller.