It takes hearing all of Ariana Grande's songs together to truly understand how talented she is. The pint-sized pop star may have waited until it was down to the wire to confirm her appearance at Sunday night's American Music Awards, but Ariana Grande's performance was anything but last minute. Performing a medley of her hits at the AMAs, including "Break Free," "Problem" and "Love Me Harder," Grande wowed audiences with her singing, which was pretty much the smartest plan she could have thought up because like some other celebrities (ahem cough cough Taylor Swift) Grande's not necessarily the best mover in the crop of new musical talents.
Grande's performance began with Grande, in a groundbreaking move, taking some of her hair out of her tight, migraine-inducing ponytail. She performed stripped down, jazzy ballad versions of "Problem" and "Break Free" which was truly genius as the songs gave the young star the chance to really prove how brilliant a singer she really can be. Those ballads were then followed by Grande's performance of "Love Me Harder" with The Weekend which was slightly awkward only because Grande overpowered The Weekend so easily and their chemistry was slightly nonexistent. However, that is such a small complaint because the song was still pretty damn beautiful, and pretty much nothing could take away from that.
The jazzy, almost Kenny G-inspired ballads were beautiful and really brought a new level to both "Problem" and especially "Break Free" which, to me, was great but always felt a little too... immature in its own way which makes sense considering how young Grande really is. But as we all know now, Grande's voice is anything but immature or young and it was nice to see her songs being performed in a way that suited her voice the absolute best.
Perhaps the move of turning these songs into sophisticated ballads is a tease of the way Grande's music will start to evolve as she gets older? If that's the case, she might one day reach the same heights and emotional maturity as someone as incredible as Adele.