One of the biggest names in music right now is Ariana Grande. She just released her long-awaited studio album, Sweetener, and it's all fans have wanted and then some. But it turns out that the whole world has been pronouncing Ariana Grande's last name wrong this whole time. Or, more importantly, the way that her beloved grandfather would say it.
In an interview with Beats 1 — a radio station housed on Apple's streaming service — on Friday, Grande opened up about a lot. Host Ebro Darden, asked her about the new album that came out the same day and also about more personal topics. When getting into conversation about her engagement to Pete Davidson, Darden asked what the singer's last name would be after tying the knot.
Grande did confirm that she'll be hyphenating her name afterward, but fans probably don't have to worry about her next album being under that moniker, too. Or at least she doesn't think so. "I don't know, I feel like I'd eventually just like to be 'Ariana,'" Grande said about her professional name post-wedding. "Isn't that sick? I feel like it's got a ring to it."
She backtracked on that real quick, though. "Also Grande... I have to keep Grande, because my grandpa, I think of him with everything I do, and he was so proud of our name," she told Beats 1. "I should keep it. Imma keep it. Never mind. We'll talk later. I have a lot of decisions to make."
So while she did mention a tour, and finishing up making her fans happy before any wedding or personal decisions, there was another thing that you may have noticed in that bit. She pronounced "Grande" (which the world has been saying "Grahn-deh" or "Grahn-day") as "Gran-dee," rhyming with "Brandy" or "Randy."
There is a pretty simple explanation to this, though:
My grandpa said Gran-dee. ... Gran-dee was kind of the, I guess, Americanized version of it, you know? Made it more chill... And then my brother was like, 'We should say Grahn-day. It's so fun to say it. It's funny. It's a funny name'... I grew up saying Gran-dee and I think of my grandpa, and I wish I said Gran-dee more.
While it may be sort of an urban legend that officials at Ellis Island or other ports would change immigrant's names, the idea of "Americanizing" you or your name was (and unfortunately still can be) a thing immigrants feel they need to do to fit in or be accepted. So, someone on Grandpa Grande's side probably came over from Italy and decided to pronounce it that way. Frankie Grande, Ariana's brother, and the rest of the family probably found it funny because they've been growing up saying it this way their whole lives.
"Literally, my name is like 'Ariana Grande-Butera!'" Grande exclaimed (in a really good Italian accent). "Literally, that's my name. I'm like a pizza. I'm a f*cking meatball."
It's not really discussed in the interview on YouTube if the world changed the sound of her last name back to the Italian version, or if Frankie's suggestion just stuck when she went on to her professional career, but whoever it was, it's not going anywhere. It just doesn't feel right, after all this time, to pronounce it "Gran-dee" — but it is good to know that there are still new things to learn about the singer after all this time.