Ariana Grande’s Music Evolution Over the Years

Jill O'Rourke
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Ariana Grande on 'The Voice'Trae Patton/NBC

Former The Voice coach Ariana Grande has had a music career spanning over a decade. In that time, her style and talent have evolved over the course of six albums. Let’s look back at her time in the industry, starting with her debut single in 2011.

Ariana Grande’s Music Evolution

‘Put Your Hearts Up’

This was Grande’s debut single, released in 2011, while she was appearing in the Nickelodeon show Victorious. The track is an upbeat pop anthem with an inspiring message. Grande belts out the lyrics, but she hasn’t entirely come into the breathy vocals and stunning high notes that will become her signature.

Grande herself has expressed mixed feelings about the song, saying in 2015, “That’s like scrolling too far back on Facebook, and you’re like, ‘oh s**t.'” She added that it felt like what people expected of her TV character Cat, but wasn’t necessarily her style.

Yours Truly

Grande released her debut album Yours Truly in 2013, with “The Way” featuring Mac Miller as the lead single. The singer leaned into the style of ’90s R&B on the album, and the single’s opening notes definitely bring to mind Mariah Carey.

This album also featured the singles “Baby I” and “Right There,” which have a very similar feel. Collaborations with artists such as Miller and Big Sean also bring a hip-hop influence to the album. The project feels much more in tune with the direction Grande’s music has continued to take.

My Everything

In 2014, Grande released her second studio album, titled My Everything. Its lead single was “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea. The singer continued to come into her own with this project, growing into a more mature style and incorporating more electronic elements into her pop sound.

Other singles from the album included “Break Free” and “Bang Bang,” in which Grande collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J. The album, which is full of tracks that make you want to dance, was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys.


Dangerous Woman

In 2016, Grande released her third album, Dangerous Woman. The title track was also the lead single, as Grande showed off a sultry style and more mature lyrics, as well as a sexy music video to go along with it. The track features powerhouse vocals from the singer, who won Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards.

Other singles from the album included “Into You” and “Side to Side,” featuring Nicki Minaj. The latter track includes some pretty suggestive lyrics about sex, just in case anyone was wondering whether Grande had grown up since her Nickelodeon days.


Grande released her fourth album in 2018, featuring the lead single “No Tears Left to Cry.” The project debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and received praise for its experimental approach, as Grande explored different genres and sounds such as trap and house.

The album also features the track “God Is a Woman,” in which Grande continued to show off her vocal confidence and sexuality. Grande won her first Grammy for Sweetener, taking home the award for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Thank U, Next

Grande’s fifth studio album was released in 2019, with the title track as the lead single. In the song, the singer got candid about her relationship history, name-dropping her exes such as Mac Miller, Big Sean, and Pete Davidson.

The signer continued her honest streak on further singles “7 Rings” and “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” which doesn’t exactly beat around the bush. Thank U, Next was a success, earning four Grammy nominations including Album of the Year.


Grande released her most recent album, Positions, in 2020. The project brings together a number of musical qualities that Grande had become known for at that point, including sexually suggestive lyrics, a blending of genres, and strong vocals on songs like “POV.”

It’s not clear when fans can expect Grande’s next album. Earlier this year, the singer admitted to fans that she hadn’t started working on her next project, as she was focused on The Voice and her upcoming role as Glinda in the Wicked movie adaptation.

In present day, Grande is preparing for her upcoming role in the film adaptation of Wicked. The singer will be featured in the film as the character, Glinda. She recently admitted that she has not been working on music of her own, but rumors have swirled that she will be featured on Beyonce’s upcoming album.

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