With "Doughnutgate" dead and gone, Ariana Grande and backup dancer Ricky Alvarez can finally concentrate on their budding romance. Don't know who he is? That's not a surprise, considering the singer has a history of dating people who aren't A-list celebs, from Nathan Sykes of The Wanted (remember them?) to actor Graham Phillips from CBS' The Good Wife to, even, other backup dancers. So who are all the men you didn't know Ariana Grande dated?
Well first, there was Big Sean. The rapper and the 22-year-old pop star were in a public relationship earlier this year, but the couple called it quits in April, according to Us Weekly. Grande's split from the rapper led her to tweet an empowering essay about the double standards between men and women in romance.
"What I meant when I said what I said about not being Sean's ex is that I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man's past, present, or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION," she wrote. "I... do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you. I have clearly not been having the boy questions in my interviews lately because I have come to the realization that I have SO. MUCH. MORE. to talk about." You go, girl.
Last month, Grande and Alvarez's couple status went public when they were caught kissing in the "Doughnutgate" video. But who are the guys who kissed those lips before him? Here's a primer:
On The Good Wife, the actor plays Zach Florrick, the son to Julianna Margulies' Alicia on the hit CBS legal drama. Before he hit the small screen, Phillips starred in the Broadway musical 13 as Evan Goodman, a role that led him to meet Grande, who played Charlotte. They dated off-stage from 2008 until 2011. Even today, her ex has been supportive of her, defending her during "Doughnutgate."
"She's such a sweet girl," Phillips told People earlier this summer. "It's tough. We all say things that we regret. I don't think it speaks to her character at all."
Grande and this backup dancer hit it off after her breakup with Phillips, and they dated from 2011 until 2012. This was back when Grande was still playing Cat on Nickelodeon's Victorious (remember that show?).
"Yeah, like we were filming one season and I went through this horrible, horrendous breakup," she told Just Jared at the time. "My heart was broken and shattered. I was crying through hair and makeup, like I couldn’t even pull myself together. Then when I started playing Cat I forgot all about it." Burn.
Pop sensation sees videos by a YouTube sensation and sparks fly online — for a bit. Brooks, of the Aussie Internet comedy and prank group The Janoskians, began dated Grande long-distance in 2012 and they were on-and-off again for awhile. Some sources have theorized that her relationships with Brooks and Sykes, ahem, kind of overlapped, but that's for them to work out.
Remember when The Wanted was the rival boy band to One Direction? And then the band split in 2014, shattering dreams of future songs like "Glad You Came" and "Chasing The Sun." Before the band broke up, Sykes was the youngest member of the band and dated Grande in 2013. They had a cute first date that Grande gushed about in an interview for Cosmopolitan. "We were going back to his hotel to watch a movie, and he had Ladurée macarons and sunflowers waiting — I love Parisian baked goods, and sunflowers are my favorite flower," she told the magazine.
Grande and Sykes also paired up for a song called "Almost Is Never Enough." But their duet in real life didn't last, and they broke up a few months later. Earlier this year, Sykes confirmed that one of his solo tracks is inspired by their brief relationship. "Honestly, I’m so proud of her and so excited for her as well," he told MTV. "Like watching the Grammys, I know that for her to be nominated and to perform at the Grammys as well is stuff that she’s always dreamed of and I was just so happy for her."
The rapper and the "Break Free" singer were first spotted together in August 2014, but it wasn't until the the 2015 Grammy Awards that Big Sean and Grande were a confirmed couple. But that bliss wouldn't last — the duo split in April, saying that they'd remain friends.
"Man, you know, I don't plan relationships. They just happen," the 27-year-old rapper told Entertainment Tonight after the breakup. "That's all it is. I'm just... I'm just living it. It's no, it's no God, it's no script. You know, we just out here doing what we doin'. Feelin' it out."
Perhaps Grande has finally found true love with Alvarez. Only time will tell.