… there’s somethin’ bout, somethin’ bout, you…
I’ve been tough on Ariana Grande in the past. I admit it. I couldn’t see passed the quinceañera dresses, the obnoxious ponytail, and the reports of diva behavior from someone I felt hadn’t paid her dues yet. Well… That’s all changed. The girl I once saw as privileged and unpleasant, I now find to be confident, well studied, and pop music’s saving grace in a playlist full of mediocrity. I think this change of heart has something to do with the donut… I’ve been so disinterested in what top 40 radio has had to offer over the last year or so that I’ve become a jaded old hag that says things like “back in my day…” and “these young artists today don’t…” when speaking of the iconic-ness of the late 90s and early 2000s. Maybe it’s the lack of excitement I have for everyone else out there (I mean… I enjoy Meghan Trainor’s new song “No,” but I still don’t like her). Or Maybe Ari has finally taken her diva training wheels off and found an identity all her own. Either way, I’m here for it. So here are five reasons why Ari is everything pop music needs in 2016. Everything that I need at least. My Everything if you will… I digress.
1. Her voice
Ariana’s voice has always set her apart from her contemporaries. She not only has the power of Celine, but the soulful execution of Whitney and the airiness of Mariah. It is clear that she has studied the greats and has used their influences to create a sound all her own. Even with the lack of annunciation, Ari’s vocals so smooth and effortless. This is even more evident in her pitch perfect live performances.
2. Her Impressions
Speaking of a girl that has studied the greats… Amidst a year of musical impressions, Ariana Grande was one of the most trended with her spot on impressions of Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. She also tackled Shakira, Whitney, & Rihanna on her stint at SNL. Not to mention, she does a killer mashup of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” and Madonna’s “Vogue.”
3. Her Inclusive Take On Feminism & Gay Rights
While feminism seems to be a “hot topic” right now with everyone jumping on the “pussy wagon,” Ari has had a more inclusive approach to the buzzword. She no only speaks out on women’s rights, but also gender norms and is a fierce advocate for gay equality. Thanks Frankie!
Yes. I know. Licking a donut and calling Americans fat was not one of her finer moments, however our faves have not been without their fair share of innocent scandals. Mariah Carey bringing ice cream to TRL, Britney Spears getting married for 55 hours, and Beyoncé all during Destiny’s Child have produced some of the most embarrassing, yet iconic moments, of their careers.
5. Finally… Her Ponytail
Something that has been a source for mockery and irritation has now become a signature look for the budding diva. While many of us wished she would let her down sometimes (she has on occasion), let’s face it… Ponytail is to Ariana Grande as School girl is to Britney Spears. It just fits. I’m sure one day she will change it up and develop a broader image, however for now, the ponytail is here to stay. And I am evolved enough now to support that.
If you agree with me or want to drag me through the mud leave a comment below! But before you do, go on over to iTunes and preorder this little Queen’s new album, Dangerous Woman. You’ll get the killer title track as well as the airy, vogue cut “Be Alright.” Here’s to a career defining era Ari.