When I heard Ariana Grande's single "The Way" for the first time, I assumed someone sampled a previously unreleased Mariah Carey track. However, while watching music videos one afternoon (how else will I stay oh-so hip?), I saw the video for the song. I freaked out. It was Ariana Grande, a.k.a Cat from Victorious and Sam & Cat, hitting those whistle notes! Whoa. And yes, I still watch Nickelodeon shows. They're just so colorful and fun. Anyway. 20-year-old Grande is a pint-sized powerhouse, and her debut album, Yours Truly, is really, really good. I mean, I thought she was Mariah Freakin' Carey. If that isn't an endorsement, I don't know what is.
Grande is seriously talented, but recently, she's really proving herself to be a "diva-in-the-making." I never use "diva" as a pejorative, so no, I'm not dissing her. Yeah, she can sing. Yeah, she has great comedic timing. But you know what else she has? Fearlessness. Grande isn't afraid to speak her mind, and I can't get enough. She may be only 20, but she is an old, brave diva at heart.
In a recent interview with Reuters, she stood up for Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. I know, I know. Anything about Cyrus and Bieber is the deadest horse. When asked about Cyrus, Grande didn't cop out with a "no comment" answer. Grande gave a real answer:
[Cyrus] is an adult. She can do whatever the hell she wants, honestly … If her choices aren't for you, don't look at it, move on, talk about something else, worry about bettering your life, not hers — she's fine. Her life is the best it could be right now, you know? That's what bothers me about people and about society. It's like, 'shut up.'
She even did a "move aside" hand gesture when she said "shut up." Yes yes yes yes yes. I was predisposed to appreciate this quote no matter what (I've always liked Miley/don't understand why everyone and their neighbor feels justified in offering their unsolicited advice), but then she punctuated it with a "shut up." This quote is incredible.
As for Bieber? She more or less called him a teen who is doing teen things:
He's doing the same thing as every other boy in the world right now ... He's just under a microscope and he's being scrutinized by people that don't know him … I know him, and he's a good person.
Bieber is a dumb teen who does dumb teen stuff (we've all been there). Bieber's dumb teen stuff is magnified because, hey!, he's obscenely famous. And those dumb actions have more to do with him being a dumb, obscenely famous teen than they do with him being, I don't know, an actual monster. So, we should stop making him out to be a fanged, scaly, evil beast who eats people (but boy oh boy, will I feel sheepish if Bieber reveals that he's been a literal monster all along!). Grande doesn't excuse Bieber's or Cyrus's questionable behavior. She just thinks everyone needs to calm the hell down about their questionable behavior. I dig it, I dig it.
There are few things I love more than camaraderie between pop stars. One of those things? Gals standing up for themselves. When Grande's ex-boyfriend Jai Brooks called her a cheater via Twitter, Grande tweeted back:
Woke up this morning in complete and utter shock... I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.
You said to me if I didn't come back to you, you'd make me look bad to the entire world... I'm no longer afraid of you or your lies anymore.
I'm going to be the lady my mother raised and carry myself with class and dignity... But I will never be any man's press opportunity.
Girls... RESPECT YOURSELVES. Keep your head held high and speak only kind words. Know your truth... no one can ever take that away from you.
It's always ok to defend yourself. My fans know what kind of person I am. Never let any man discredit u or the values you were raised with.
I'm finally happy. Words can't hurt me anymore.
Sure, I think it's super commendable when someone takes the high road. But Grande's rebuttal was a well-crafted, tasteful slam dunk. And I can't get enough of a well-crafted, tasteful slam dunk. Her tweets are the perfect sick-burns. Oh, you want to fire shots at Ariana Grande, Jai Brooks? Get ready. Because she isn't afraid to fire back. And she won't seem petty or pathetic. She'll seem cool, calm, and collected. She'll eviscerate you AND remind her fans to respect themselves no matter what. And, oh yeah, she'll end it with a "I'm finally happy." Boom. Mic drop. Bye, Jai.
Grande doesn't say the stuff she does to drum up controversy or buzz. She doesn't need to. Her talent will carry her career, no problem. She says honest and real stuff simply because she's honest and real. She is who she is. And I'm confident that'll only continue to work in her favor.
Alright. I've rambled enough. Let's dance!