Photo: Tesh for Marie Claire.
Ariana Grande, pint-sized chanteuse with hair full of secrets, is having a moment. She's blowing up the pop charts in a way that 2008 Lady Gaga couldn't have imagined/hoped for. Grande may only be 21, but she's been waiting seven years for her big break.
"I was 14 years old and ready to make an R&B album," the diva-in-the-making explained in her Marie Claire cover interview. "I was like, 'Where is that Mary J. Blige collab? Where is that Natasha Bedingfield writing session? Where is my session with India.Arie? I'm ready. Let's go.'"
It didn't happen overnight (there were a few Nickelodeon shows first), but it's all happening now. She's reviving TRL, covering major fashions mags, and being compared to Mariah Carey. With her sophomore LP, My Everything, sitting pretty atop iTunes Top 10 charts, Grande is finally "the person I really are."*
"I wrote this song called 'Higher,' and the lyrics were too sexual, too mature," Grande said. "And my mom was like, 'This is a great song, but damn, you're too young for this.'"
She may be older, but Grande's still managing to polarize moms and critics alike with her "lingerie advertising" ways. You could argue though, in pop music, you've really made it when people start questioning whether you should be a role model (see Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga before her). In Grande's case, she's just playing by her own rules. In Starbucks lingo, there ain't nothing small about Grande.
Read Ariana Grande's full Marie Claire interview when the October issue hits newsstands September 23.