The Dramatic Transformation Of Ariana Grade From 16 To 27 Years Old

Like many musical artists her age, Ariana Grande got her start in television. For Miley Cyrus, it was Hannah Montana; for Selena Gomez, it was Wizards of Waverly Place; and for Grande — who was born on June 26, 1993 in Boca Raton, Fla. — she rose to fame for her role as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon series, Victorious. Grande stuck with her Victorious character from 2010-2013 and in a spin-off from 2013–2014.

During her Nickelodeon days, Grande showcased her impressive vocals on her YouTube channel. She even blessed us with her uncanny impressions way before she did them on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Grande, however, showed fans the way her own voice could capture an audience in her first single "The Way," featuring the late Mac Miller. The song secured a spot at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.

In under a decade, Grande has kept the spotlight on her vocal talents, delivering five No. 1 Hits on Billboard. Although she's loved and lost, she's continued focus on what's next.

Ariana Grande managed to 'break free' of her Nickelodeon image

During Ariana Grande's time on Victorious, her character Cat had signature fire-engine red hair. Even after breaking away from her Nickelodeon image with Yours Truly and My Everything (both albums topped #1), Grande was forced to keep the same hairstyle — a high ponytail — due to the damage that dyeing her hair for the show caused.

In 2014, in an Instagram post, that's since been deleted, Grande wrote (via E! News), "I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first four years of playing Cat... I wear extensions but I wear it in a ponytail because my actually hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down." She added, "So as annoying as it is for y'all to have to look at the same hairstyle all the time, it's all that works for now (and I'm comfortable for the first time in years)."

Luckily, she didn't have to "wait forever" for her natural hair to grow back, because in 2016, Grande broke free from her signature ponytail when she released her music video for "Dangerous Woman," the title track of her third album.

Ariana Grande experienced major tragedy in Manchester

Tragedy struck on May 22, 2017 when Ariana Grande was on tour for Dangerous Woman. Just as Grande was finishing her concert at the Manchester Arena, a terrorist attack killed 22 people, per The New York Times. Thirteen days after the terrorist attack, Grande returned to the Manchester for a One Love Manchester concert, bringing together singers — Katy Perry, Little Mix, Miley Cyrus, and others — to show love, support, and help heal through music. The concert raised over $13 million for the victims of the attack.

In an interview with British Vogue in 2018, Grande, who suffered from PTSD after the attack, talked about the traumatic event's impact on her mental health. "I've always had anxiety," she said. "I've never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it's ever been."

Grande also opened up about loss. "It's hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it's a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well." Grande also explained why she was hesitant to speak about the event. "Time is the biggest thing," she said. "I feel like I shouldn't even be talking about my own experience – like I shouldn't even say anything. I don't think I'll ever know how to talk about it and not cry."

Ariana Grande made things sweeter

Following the traumatic event, Ariana Grande returned to music with her fourth album, Sweetener. In a May 2018 interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she not only debuted her platinum blonde hair, but also the meaning behind her album. "Why is it called Sweetener?" Fallon asked. "Because it's kind of about, like, bringing light to a situation or to someone's life or somebody else who brings light to your life or sweetening the situation," she said.

That same year, Grande also revealed in an interview with Time the meaning behind her single "No Tears Left to Cry." "When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy," she said. "It poured out into the music." She went on to break down the music video for the song saying, "We've messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again, because I feel like I'm finally landing back on my feet now."

At the time of the Manchester bombing, Grande was dating rapper and singer Mac Miller. However, on May 10, 2018, the couple broke up.

Ariana Grande's journey with love and loss

2018 was a big year for Ariana Grande. Not only did she return to music, but she also announced her relationship and engagement to Pete Davidson all within a month and a half, per Insider. The couple got several matching tattoos (and Grande even named a song "pete davidson" on her album, Sweetener).

While it seemed like Grande's happily-ever-after was around the corner, she experienced a major loss when it was confirmed on Sept. 7, 2018 that her ex, rapper Mac Miller, had died of an accidental overdose. She and Davidson split in October of that year.

In an interview in 2020 for Apple Music with Zane Lowe, the Grammy winner recalled Mac Miller's passion for music. "I think that nothing mattered more to him than music, ever," Grande said (via Entertainment Tonight). "And he was the kind of person who woke up and rolled into the studio, tumbled out of bed, into the studio next door. Nothing was more important. Talk about losing track of time and forgetting to eat, remind yourself to take care of yourself and be a person. He was a person who gave literally every single second of his thought and time and life to his music."

Thankfully, we're 'stuck' with Ariana Grande

Throughout Ariana Grande's career, it hasn't been an easy road, and the singer has loved and lost. But despite all the personal and public tragedy, Grande has found self-love and she hasn't let the music stop. Even as she sings in her song, "Thank U Next," she's so "f**king grateful" for her exes. Since that hit song, the singer has continued moving on to the next thing.

In 2020, Grande released her sixth studio album Positions and announced she's engaged to Dalton Gomez. Now, in 2021, the singer is beginning with a Grammy nomination for Pop Duo/Group Performance for her collaboration with Lady Gaga for the song "Rain On Me," which Grande preaches about letting the rain wash away the past.

Since her rise to fame, Grande has continued to prove that on a scale of one to 10 that she's at 100, and we can't wait to see what's next!