Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993), known professionally as Ariana Grande, is an American recording artist and actress. She grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, where she attended North Broward Preparatory School. Grande made her acting debut in 2008, playing the role of Charlotte in 13 on Broadway. From 2010 to 2013, she played Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious and reprised the role on the spinoff Sam & Cat (2013–14).
In March 2013, Grande reached mainstream success after “The Way” from her debut studio album, Yours Truly (2013), became a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. The album received critical acclaim and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. This made Grande the first female artist to have her debut record enter the chart in the pole position since Animal by Kesha in January 2010, and the fifteenth female artist overall. Later, Grande was honored by The Music Business Association in 2014 as Breakthrough Artist of the Year, to recognize Grande’s achievements over 2013.
At the age of ten, Grande co-founded the South Florida youth singing group Kids Who Care, which performed for charitable fund-raising events, raising over $500,000 for charities in 2007 alone. In the summer of 2009, as a member of the charitable organization Broadway in South Africa, Grande performed and taught music and dance to children in Gugulethu, South Africa along with her brother Frankie. Grande also partnered with Kleenex on its “Shield Sneeze Swish” campaign.
In January 2014, Grande confirmed reports that recording had begun for her second studio album and she had been working with Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco. On March 4, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Grande to sing at the White House concert, “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” on March 6. It was designed to celebrate what the White House describes as great “foremothers” of American music, with songs exploring the struggles and achievements of women. Grande also performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 21. In addition, she received the 2014 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award from the Music Business Association. The award recognized Grande’s achievements over 2013, including a number one debut on the Billboard charts with her first album, Yours Truly, and a double platinum, Top 10 single with “The Way”.