Ariana Grande is perhaps the quintessential pop star of the last half of the 2010s, capturing the era's spirit and style. Emerging in 2013 with the hit single "The Way," Grande initially appeared to be the heir to the throne of Mariah Carey. Much of this was due to her powerhouse vocals, a singing style that belied her petite frame. With its Babyface production, her debut Yours Truly underscored her debt to '90s R&B, but Grande quickly incorporated hip-hop and EDM into her music. "Problem," a 2014 smash duet with Iggy Azalea, was the first indication of her development, an evolution underscored by the hits "Bang Bang" and "Love Me Harder," which featured Jesse J & Nicki Minaj and the Weeknd, respectively. Grande maintained her popularity with 2015's Dangerous Woman, but she hit her stride with 2018's Sweetener and its swift sequel Thank U Next, whose title track became her first number one pop hit, an achievement quickly eclipsed by "7 Rings," a glitzy anthem for the Instagram age that consolidated her stardom and artistry.
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