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Top 10 Iconic Ariana Grande Moments

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
First Nickelodeon, then the world! For this list, we’re looking at the superstar's career-defining pop culture moments as of 2018. We’ve included her role on “Victorious” (2010-13), “Hairspray Live!” (2016), her debut album “The Way” (2013)” her win for New Artist of the Year and her imitating celebrities sketch!

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Top 10 Iconic Ariana Grande Moments

First Nickelodeon, then the world. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Iconic Ariana Grande Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the superstar's career-defining pop culture moments as of 2018.

#10: “Victorious” (2010-13)

In the grand scheme of things, Nickelodeon's sitcom was merely a stepping stone to bigger and better things for the pop star, but the character Cat Valentine helped introduce the singer to the world. In hindsight, Ariana's acting left something to be desired - although to be fair, Cat was pretty much a one note character, and became more so over time. Luckily, "Victorious" also played to the performer's strengths; if there’s one thing the series confirmed, it was that Ariana could sing with the best of them! The sitcom's breakout star, Grande landed a spin-off series with "iCarly's" Jennette McCurdy, although "Sam & Cat" was short-lived.

#9: “Hairspray Live!” (2016)

An admirer of theater and especially this 2002's Tony Award-winning musical, Ariana landed the coveted role of Penny Pingleton in NBC's live rendition of "Hairspray." The pop star’s presence undoubtedly helped boost viewer numbers, which exceeded 9 million, but Ariana might have been more excited than anyone for the broadcast. She stole the show whenever "Hairspray Live!" allowed the singer's voice to take center stage. Ariana might be more suited to concert halls than Broadway, but "Hairspray Live!" was nonetheless a treat for Ari and her fans.

#8: “The Way” (2013)

With the lead single from her debut album, Ariana hit the ground running and hasn’t slowed down since. Debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, "The Way" showcased the singer’s extensive vocal range, whilst maintaining a playful tone and infusing elements of R&B. Still a teenager at the time of its release, which was just a month after “Victorious” ended its run, Ariana comes off like a seasoned veteran rather than someone with only two singles to her name. Featuring a guest verse from future boyfriend Mac Miller, "The Way" established Ariana Grande as a bonafide pop star.

#7: Shuts Down Sexist Comments During Interview

It’s the little moments that matter. During a radio interview, DJ Justin Credible and Eric D-Lux asked Ariana whether the celebrity would prefer to use makeup or her phone for one last time. Clearly unimpressed by this line of questioning, the "Dangerous Woman" blasted the guys for the blatantly sexist question, before advising the hosts to brush up on some equality. Somehow, this train of thought led to a discussion on whether the unicorn emoji can be used by both genders; obviously, the answer is a resounding yes.

#6: New Artist of the Year

"Victorious" introduced the singer to the world, but Ariana became a household name in 2013. Fueled by three hit singles "The Way," "Baby I," and "Right There", Ari's first ever album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 130,000 copies during its opening week and earning Grande an "American Music Awards" nomination for "New Artist of the Year." Beating out the likes of Imagine Dragons and Macklemore for the honor, Ariana left the AMAs with a shiny trophy and huge new expectations to meet.

#5: Imitating Celebrities Sketch

Ariana would really kill it at a karaoke bar. Invited to host "Saturday Night Live," Ari brought both the laughter and chills in an endearing performance. She kicked the night off with a joke song listing hoped-for future scandals that might lie in wait for her, but Ariana's stand-out moment occurred during a later sketch about a music streaming service. When a glitch causes certain channels to drop off the air, Grande is left with no choice but to impersonate the likes of Whitney Houston, Rihanna, and various other vocalists. The results speak for themselves.

#4: “Dangerous Woman” (2016)

Following two chart-topping studio albums, Ariana needed to prove "Truly Yours" and "My Everything" could be surpassed. While the singer's third studio album fell just short of the Billboard 200's top spot, Ariana showed that she’d refined and matured her sound to perfection in "Dangerous Woman." Packed with memorable hooks and empowering but sincere lyrics, "Dangerous Woman" shed any lingering traces of Ariana's Nickelodeon days and confirmed the pop star was here to stay. Besides serving as an awesome lead single, the title track felt like a statement of intent.

#3: Billboard’s Woman of the Year 2018

Just five years after making her debut and winning "New Artist of the Year" at the "American Music Awards," Ariana was named "Woman of the Year" by Billboard. Musically, 2018 saw Ariana release a fourth studio album, "Sweetener," and multiple successful singles; however, Billboard's award takes into account more than just artistic accomplishments. Willing to stand up for worthwhile causes, Ariana has also been an advocate for mental health awareness and equality. The singer’s voice might be earth-shatteringly powerful, but Ariana's strength extends far beyond singing.

#2: Wheel of Musical Impressions

Ever dreamed of seeing Ariana Grande do an impression of Christina Aguilera while singing "The Wheels on the Bus?" Even if the answer is no, everyone deserves to bear witness to this stunning moment! Invited to partake in a game of "Wheel of Musical Impressions" by Jimmy Fallon, Ari proved there is nobody beyond the vocalist's range. Launching with an impeccable rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in the style of Britney Spears, Ariana made impressions seem easy. This segment was such a blast, Fallon staged a similar contest for her more recent appearance in 2018, with the Musical Genre Challenge.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Problem” (2014)
Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

“Wicked” Performance
“A Very Wicked Halloween” (2018)

Artist of the Year
“American Music Awards of 2015”

#1: One Love Manchester/Somewhere Over the Rainbow

During her 2017 world tour, Ariana’s Manchester Arena concert ended in tragedy when 22 attendees lost their lives and many more were injured in a suicide bombing attack. Ariana’s response was “One Love Manchester”, a benefit event that the singer organized to raise funds for the victims and their families. Raising over $20 million, the event included guest performances from the likes of Robbie Williams, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber. Showing great strength and courage in the face of such terror, Ariana closed "One Love Manchester" with a powerful rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."


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