At 8, South Florida-born pop/rhythm-and-blues star Ariana Grande was a professional singer. At 13, she was on Broadway. At 22, she’s headlining arenas throughout the world.
Grande’s “Honeymoon Tour” tour comes to the Smoothie King Center on Friday, Oct. 9. The tour follows the many hits the five-foot-tall singer released in the past two years. They include “The Way” (with Mac Miller), “Baby I,” “Right There,” “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea) and, an all-star collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, the quintuple platinum “Bang Bang.”
While still a child, Grande sang with symphony orchestras throughout Florida. She made her national TV debut belting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a Florida Panthers football game.
Grande’s star leapt forward at 13 when she played Charlotte in the Broadway musical “13.” She loved theater.
“I remember saying, ‘Mommy, I never want this to end,’ ” Grande told British newspaper “The Telegraph.” “I loved playing a character. It was sort of just taking a vacation from myself.”
She signed a record deal at 17. Her early recordings disappointed her, however. She rebounded with the more mature sound of pop anthem “The Way,” a Top 10 hit.
Grande’s album debut, “Yours Truly,” which shows influences Mariah Carey and Imogen Heap, followed. Bloggers, noting her smooth R&B style and Carey influence, named her “Mini-Mariah.” The album hit No. 1.
Grande also became a huge social presence. Music business publication Billboard named her the most influential person to watch online. She currently has more than 32 million Twitter followers.
Success continued as her 2014 full-length album “My Everything” debuted at No. 1 throughout the world.
Naturally, reports of diva behavior surfaced.
“It’s funny how a certain amount of success comes with a certain amount of weird, inaccurate depictions of you,” Grande told “The Telegraph”. “ ... things can only last so long when there’s little truth to them. So that’s why I don’t trip over it.’