With the arrival of her third studio album Dangerous Woman, it’s evident that Ariana Grande has come a long way since her Nickelodeon days. Like Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift, Grande has had to navigate the transition from child star to pop icon. Grande has surprised us with her humor and hidden talents, proving she isn’t a one-dimensional pop starlet. Here are five times where her powerhouse vocals were on fleek.
Dueting with Miley in Onesies
Miley Cyrus has a video series called “Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions” where she performs cover songs in her backyard. This video made for a viral combination: Ariana, Miley, flirting, animal onesies, a live band, a blow-up neon couch, and a wonderful cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
The Ariana Grande Impression Showcase
Grande’s appearance on The Tonight Show gave us our first glimpse of her wide talent for vocal impressions. In the popular bit “Wheel of Musical Impressions,” Grande outdoes Jimmy Fallon, the King of Impressions, with her hilarious Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Celine Dion imitations.
Live, From New York
Riding the popularity wave of her impressions talent, Grande appears in a Saturday Night Live skit playing a Tidal intern filling in dead time while various artist channels are down. Grande brilliantly shows off her Rihanna, Shakira, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Whitney Houston impressions and even pokes fun at herself.
Vocals on Vocals on Vocals
Grande has uploaded a bunch of low-fi covers on her YouTube channel, but one that really stands out is this cover of Imogen Heap‘s “Just For Now.” Using a looping machine, like Heap’s original, Grande layers live vocals in real time. Successful looping requires precision, creativity, and adaptation. And in this performance, Grande knocks the ball out of the park.
A Dangerous Woman
We all know that Ari can sing, but there’s something extraordinarily special about this a cappella “Dangerous Woman” video that has racked up well over 35 million views, and it’s not all because of her patent leather bunny suit, although that does help. This video feels like she’s taking a break from a photo or video shoot to goof around for the crew. From the ad-libbed guitar solo and the silly self-aware instrumental sound effects to the fact that her vocal is completely spot on, this performance is watchable and re-watchable.
Want more Ari? Head over to the Ariana Grande Wiki’s Musical Madness and vote for all your favorites.