American singer/actor Ariana Grande turned 28 on Saturday. Her four-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, and unique use of the whistle register have already won her fans over. Many up-and-coming artists have been inspired by her voice. Her aesthetics, fashion sense, and “iconic” ponytail hairstyle have all had a major impact on mainstream culture in recent years.
Fans and many celebrities including Katy Perry greeted the singer with emotional birthday wishes on social media today as she celebrates her 28th birthday.
happiest birthday to the best living vocalist on earth @ArianaGrande fight me if you think different
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) June 25, 2021
Take a look at how the birthday girl’s legendary songs helped her to become the pop princess and hitmaker that she is today. Ariana Grande is the new “it” girl, with a fiery attitude and a near-perfect discography. Her red carpet performances are as stunning as her music, and they just grow better with each passing year. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and listen to five of her most memorable songs.
1. Bang Bang
Grande showed a propensity for female collaborations that would pervade pop in the early twenty-first century, starting with her hit “Problem.” Grande enlisted the help of UK artist Jessie J and Nicki Minaj for her track “Bang Bang,” giving each performer their own limelight. The song was immediately compared to another diva-driven collaboration, Christina Aguilera’s “Lady Marmalade” rendition from 2002, which featured Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink.
Ariana Grande’s breakthrough single “Problem” earned her a household name, but it’s as out-of-the-box as pop music gets. Max Martin, Ilya, and Shellback came up with a fresh approach to employ Ariana’s pipes: they used them to portray mania rather than joy. The odd verses rise to an unfathomably high pitch, but just when you think you’re in for an anthemic chorus, no! There’s a gap of negative space, followed by the quietest plummet you’ve ever heard. Then there’s Big Sean’s whispers, a saxophone riff, and Iggy Azalea’s toughest verse of all time.
On first hearing, “Problem” may have looked unsettling, but now you can’t imagine it any other way. It was Ariana’s biggest hit until “Thank U, Next,” hitting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. Break Free
Ariana had the world’s attention after the massive success of “Problem,” so what would she do next? She dropped another shocker in the form of a collaboration with Zedd on a fully current EDM single with a timeless disco vibe. She matured, went past her old heartbreaks, and embraced her newfound artistic freedom in one song. Many teen stars have struggled to discard their image, but Ariana has done so while maintaining her sense of wonder. “This is the moment where I break free “Cause I can’t resist it any longer!” she said, making her transformation seem inevitable.
And it’s a pure expression of delight when Ariana nails the high F note in the bridge, her most jaw-dropping vocal performance in a career full of them.
4. Thank U, Next
Ariana Grande released an unexpected new tune in the wake of Sweetener, Mac Miller’s loss, and her breakup with Pete Davidson, rewriting the narrative in real-time. The music was instantly memorable at first listen; that glittering synth hook, that strange, jazzy bassline, and that rumbling bass. “Thank U, Next” quickly revealed itself to be much more: a wise remark from a young woman who had been through so much in the spotlight. Ariana’s voice is a touch frail, but it’s full of enthusiasm and energy, and she’s just as kind with her fans as she is with her ex-boyfriends.
This song was a cultural reset as we can say, with lyrics that referenced her ex-boyfriends and a video parodying all of your favorite rom-coms. It’s one of the few times a music star created a large enough splash to get the entire world talking.
5. 7 Rings
“7 Rings” is arguably Ariana’s most iconic hit, it had more impact on pop culture than any of her past hits. Let it be Instagram captions or TikTok’s trendy videos, you name it.
It was great to see Grande embrace her power, especially after she had been through so much. The cold tone of “7 Rings” sounded slightly out of touch, especially because “Thank U, Next” had already made the excellent case for thankfulness and growth — not to mention how its catchy sound and carefree concept were tainted by charges of copying and cultural appropriation.
So, here is the list of Ariana Grande’s iconic hits on her 28th birthday. The list is totally subjective. Let us know which songs do you think are her most iconic hits in the comment section down below. I’ll catch you in the next post, but until then, adios.