'Thank you next,' 'Seven rings,' 'Break up with your girlfriend' and 'Breathin' are only some of the “recent” significant hits of this songstress with one of the most pivotal stands in the music industry of today. It is anyway a known fact that the English music industry has a supreme hold over any other music industry including Kpop although the latter is also generally rising in stature; therefore to achieve a position of dominance in this realm is more than a lifetime achievement and for Ariana this almost seems like an easy feat.
I first heard an Ariana song when I was in school, maybe in eighth grade when we were forced to watch what the seniors wanted to, being in a hostel (the only "bullying" I experienced) and the song was called 'Popular' featuring a singer named Mika. That was also one of her earliest songs. Not a lot of Indian kids had access to Nickelodeon programs like 'Victorious' which was her claim to fame so most of us, no doubt encountered her as a singer first then as an actor.
The cast of Victorious
In the Indian scene, she only became significant after her song 'Problem' featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea which took off on VH1 the prime source of music in our school days. But her relevance grew in the industry after her collaboration with Mac Miller in 'The way,' a song which gave her fame as well as earned her a lover. Since then, she has always managed to put out several hits leaning towards a more EDM vibe in her songs such as Break-free and One Last Time. The evolution in her songs as well as her vibe made its way to a more R&B touch and has continued since also evident in her latest album 'Sweetener.'
Ariana being a popular figure, has not been one to shy away from public controversies, including one which involved a video of her licking doughnuts she didn't buy and saying "I hate America." There also have been many allegations against her by POC who believe that she tries to portray herself as a person of color when in fact she is white; in all sincerity, the fake tan does make her look like one. She has also regularly been accused of acting like a diva and making her fans cry.
Like all female singers, her reputation has also closely been scrutinized by her links with male entertainers and she having dated big stars such as Big Sean, and Mac was always in the news because of her dating history more than her music. This became a massive issue following her breakup with Mac and her engagement to the regular SNL comedian Pete Davidson. She received constant hate on social media, and rumors of her following a 'Lolita' concept also made her subject to backlash.
Despite winning numerous accolades and becoming the first solo artist to have three songs on the Billboard Top 100 simultaneously and also becoming the youngest artist to headline Coachella earlier this year, Ariana hit one of the worst phases of her life in 2018 after the death of her ex Mac who died of an overdose and she also broke off her engagement with Pete. Devastatingly, her concert was also the grounds of a terrorist attack in Manchester followed by the death of many fans. She suffers from PTSD and anxiety to this day after the attack.
This did not slow her down, and she turned her losses into a profitable venture capitalizing on sadness which is inherently featured in her record-breaking single "Thank u, next" in which she thanked all her exes along with a special tribute to her ex Mac. The music video was also one which brought so many social media icons and took inspiration from popular rom-coms such as Mean Girls, Bring it on, 13 going on 30 and Legally Blonde. She was also listed as 'Billboard woman of the year' and proclaimed 2018 to be the worst year in her life but best year for her music.
Child stars go awfully haywire when they grow up leaving behind scandals or disappearing without a trace, so Ariana has in this sense managed to be successful and have a grace about her, her vocal range often being compared to Mariah Carey with an absolutely breathtaking whistle register, but one can be sure that her success and ability to sell can in some way be attributed to her misfortunes to an extent.