You saw her as the loveable but ditzy Cat on Nickelodeon’s Victorious and then on her own spinoff Sam & Cat but the young Ariana Grande is more than an actress. She’s been compared to great vocalists such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, and with one listen to her top tracks it’s easy to see why she earned the comparison. Grande’s sound is a mix of throwback ’90s R&B and current pop music, an interesting choice that sets her far apart from her radio peers. Her debut album, Yours Truly dropped August of 2013, and immediately rose to number one on the Billboard music charts. Yours Truly was produced by musician Babyface, who has worked with top names in the business such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, and of course, Whitney Houston. Though this young singer with a big voice is still relatively new to the music scene, we’re sure that she is set to make a huge impact on radio music and will stay in the spotlight for many years to come as she becomes more and more popular.
We present to you Ariana Grande’s top ten songs.
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10. Tattooed Heart
A slow ballad fits Ariana’s vocals perfectly, and “Tattooed Heart” mixes just the right amount of throwback crooner with contemporary songstress. It’s a definite departure from mainstream music, and helps define what sets Grande apart from her peers.
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9. Last Christmas
Grande puts her own spin on this classic Mariah Carey holiday track, changing up the lyrics while still keeping the familiar instrumentals of “Last Christmas.” The updated Christmas song is sure to be popular for many years to come as Grande’s star rises.
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8. Honeymoon Avenue
“Honeymoon Avenue” is about a troubled relationship, and Grande’s vocals really shine on this track. It’s catchy without being repetitive. “Baby you know how to drive in rain /And you decided not to make a change / Stuck in the same old lane /Going the wrong way home,” sings Ariana.
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7. Popular Song
Ariana Grande pairs up with Mika for this fun, tongue-in-cheek single. The two have such different sounds, but they come together to create this track. “Popular, I know about popular / It’s not about who you are or your fancy car / You’re only ever who you were / Popular, I know about popular,” sings Grande.
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6. I Have Nothing
Grande takes a lot of inspiration from the late Whitney Houston, and has covered this track on her own personal YouTube account as well as at Disney functions. In 2014, she was invited to perform her cover version of “I Have Nothing” for the President of the United States.
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5. Right There
“Right There” features verses from Big Sean, and was the third single from Yours Truly . Grande adopts a high, Mariah-esque falsetto for much of the song. It’s a cute, romantic track that is sure to make you want to sing along.
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4. Almost Is Never Enough
This duet between Ariana and then boyfriend Nathan Sykes of The Wanted is emotional and touching, especially when one takes their recent breakup into consideration. Both singers are extremely talented, and their retro voices mix beautifully on this track.
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“I could write a song on my new piano / I could sing about how love is a losing battle” sings Grande on “Piano,” the sixth song off Yours Truly . It’s surprising that this track wasn’t released as a single because it sounds like the perfect summer jam.
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2. The Way ft. Mac Miller
There’s a heavy Mariah Carey influence on “The Way” and it’s no surprise that this song shot to the top of the charts as the lead single from Yours Truly . Grande’s falsetto vocals mix perfectly with Mac Miller’s rap verses, and the result is a fun summertime hit.
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1. Baby I
“Baby I” has a great throwback sound, calling to mind the great R&B hits of the 1990’s. Though it wasn’t as big a radio hit as “The Way,” “Baby I” really showcases Grande’s great range – from powerhouse to delicate whisper.