Those gravity-defying high notes, mixed with a sweet tone and incredibly powerful vocals result in a voice that is unmistakable to this generation. With two features and a single in the iTunes top 10 and her own album anticipated to release on July 20, Ariana Grande has snagged the title of female pop sensation of the summer.

Grande may be at the top of the pop music charts now, but her roots can be found in musical theater. A star from early on in her youth, Grande made her Broadway debut at the age of 15 in “13” as the character Charlotte, where she sang the song “Brand New You.”

She then rose to fame for her role as Cat Valentine, on the Nickelodeon show “Victorious.” After the show ended, her pop career took off, molding her into the artist she is today.

“Bed,” by Nicki Minaj, featuring Ariana Grande, was released on June 14 and showcases the sultry, smooth side of Grande’s voice. Her singing is interspersed with Nicki’s verses, which are delivered with a more song-like flow, rather than an intense, hardcore rap.

This blend suits the track well, making it a more relaxed jam. It may not reach the same level of hype and popularity as their previous iconic, high-energy collaboration, “Side to Side,” but it shows off a different side of the artists that fans will appreciate.

“Dance to This” by Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande dropped two days ago on June 13. The song lives up to its name; the upbeat background sets it up perfectly for a chill, dance track. Grande and Sivan’s voices complement each other well — they seem to float with each other in harmony.

Grande released her single “No Tears Left To Cry” weeks ago, back on April 20, but the track has remained in the iTunes top 10 to this day. Amidst artists such as Post Malone, Cardi B and Imagine Dragons who are also present in the iTunes top 10, Grande stands out as the only powerhouse female vocalist in the group.

This allows her to dominate that space on the radio as well, meaning that it’s likely that “No Tears Left to Cry” will remain a car ride, sing-along bop for the rest of the season.

And it doesn’t end with that single — her album, “Sweetener,” is on track to release on July 20, the peak of the summer season. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Grande said that the name of the album was inspired by “bringing light to a situation or to someone’s life, or someone else who brings light into your life.”

“Sweetener” is highly anticipated by her loving and loyal fanbase, the Arianators, and is sure to result in more summer hits that will reign over the charts for weeks to come.

Other singles have not been released yet, but Ariana has dropped some names, including “God is a Woman,” “R.E.M.” and “The Light is Coming.” She said she will be doing “something special” on the 20th of every month until the album releases, so fans should be on the lookout for the potential release of another single in the next couple days.

So here’s to Ariana Grande, the queen of summer 2018. Your fans are waiting, and ready for more.

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Maya Ramani

University of Virginia

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