The stunning transformation of Ariana Grande

She sings. She dances. She acts. There's very little Ariana Grande can't do. A performer since birth, Grande has always had a passion for singing, and the excitement she shows while performing is infectious. Still, at such a young age, Grande has experienced ups and downs, and has always been open about her thoughts on those challenges and successes in life. She has already accomplished so much, and I have a feeling there's many more big moments to come. So let's take a look at the stunning transformation of Ariana Grande and what's next for this triple threat.

Her brother was her major role model

Grande was born in Boca Raton, Florida on June 26, 1993. She knew what she wanted to do from a young age, and one important person in her life was a huge influence from the very beginning. As Grande shared with the Telegraph, "I adored and worshipped my brother, Frankie, as a little girl – everything he did was cool… He's 10 years older than me — he would kill me for saying that! But once Frankie got into acting in musical theatre and dancing, I was like, OK, I guess that's the cool thing now, so let's investigate and watch old musicals... My friends and I were huge musical-theatre geeks and we would go back and forth to New York whenever we had free weekends." And the rest is history.

She took on a lead role from a young age

Following in her brother's footsteps, Grande joined the local community theater and at age 8 got the lead role in Annie. Still so young, her mom didn't want Grande there by herself at rehearsals. Grande shared with the Telegraph that parents were not allowed at rehearsals unless they were in the show. Her mother accepted the challenge. As she said during the interview, "So my mom auditioned, which was the funniest thing that's ever happened in the history of the world! Because my mom is a CEO, she has her own companies, her own full schedule… She was Daddy Warbucks' maid… She had to wear a French maid's outfit and use a broom. She was like, 'I have no idea what I'm doing right now… but anything for my daughter.'" 

Finding an escape through performing

Although Grande discovered great success at such a young age, she also had to experience difficult times as well. When Grande was a kid, her parents decided to divorce. This was a tough time for Grande, as she described to the Telegraph. "That was very hard as a young girl when my parents got divorced… Being in the middle of it was so stressful. And of course being made up of both of them – I was like, Hey, if they both dislike each other's attributes so much, what am I to like about me? I'm made from these two people and I'm caught in the middle of all this fighting... It was traumatic. Between the ages of 8 and 11, that was the roughest for me."

So with these stressful times, acting was a very important part of Grande's life. During the interview, the star opened up about her struggles and how acting was her escape. She said, "'Take me away from home,' I remember saying, 'Mommy, I never want this to end.' I loved playing a character as it was sort of just taking a vacation from myself."

She has an important fashion inspiration

Grande is not just known for her talent, but for her style as well. She has pushed the envelope and shown confidence through her wardrobe choices. This overall look is an inspiration from two very important people in her life… sort of. "I remember being like, 'I wanna look like a mix of my mom and Scary Spice.' I remember saying those words when I was a little girl — that was the goal, when I was, like, 4," said Grande during an interview with Byrdie.

Since the young age of 4, Grande has continued to see her mom as a fashion inspiration. She said during the interview, "My mom is fly… She's the baddest. My whole life, she's always worn custom-made, black, tailored outfits. Black only — I've never seen her wear another color. And she adds a pop of color on her lip. She has this blue lipstick I was really stoked on, and my Viva Glam as well."

She found success in acting

Grande's acting career made it to new heights in 2010 when she was cast in the new Nickelodeon show, Victorious. From that show, she went on to play the same character of Cat Valentine on the show, Sam & Cat. But then in 2014 when the show ended, Grande was ready to move on to new things.

As the 21-year-old posted on her Facebook (via The Wrap), "I want to thank (series creator) Dan Schneider for allowing me to play such a special, beautiful character who I hid behind for so long. What I mean by that is when I was younger, people loved Cat so much I used to pretend to be more like her… It took me a long time to be brave enough to separate myself and show people how different we actually are." Even though different, Grande still was thankful for her time playing this character. She continued on to say, "I will always hold Cat near and dear to my heart and appreciate her help in my personal growth from teenager to adult."

She had to overcome a doughnut disaster

In 2015, Grande put herself in a tough spot with a video of her licking a doughnut for sale on the counter and stating that she "hates Americans." The video received negative backlash, and Grande later spoke up about the controversy, saying on Good Morning America, "I think one of the biggest things I learned from that was what it feels like to disappoint so many people who love and believe in you… And that's an excruciating feeling."

She learned from the experience and expressed those thoughts during the interview. She said, "You have to remember that your words, your actions, have, you know, ramifications and you have to really think about what you're about to say and do because it's important…. My behavior was very offensive and I apologized," Grande said. "There's no excuse or there's nothing to justify it."

She's comfortable with who she is

Grande has continued to rise to the top with a number of fantastic songs, but one common critique of her work is that her content can be quite sexual. The 23-year-old addressed these comments with Cosmopolitan and gave very honest answers. She said, "I've taken baby steps in expressing my sexuality in my imagery. I'm all the way there now, but I'm also 23, you know? I'm still figuring everything out, but it's tight to be at a point where I'm having fun with it, and I don't think that makes me any less of a role model. I think that it makes me honest!"

She also addressed the stereotype and its negative effects. Grande continued on to say, "I'm still a giving, loving person— that's not lessened by the fact that I showed my booty in a music video. I'm a good person—and I have a cute booty. It's a horrible situation that we're dealing with right now as women. I feel bad for girls who go to school with a short skirt and are told that they're asking for it just because they like [to show] their legs."

She addresses the gossip

Over time, Grande has proven herself. She may be young, but she's also wise. Reaching an intense level of celebrity, she seems to understand the amount of attention, both good and bad, she will receive and she keeps moving forward. She spoke with the Telegraph about this, specifically in regards to rumors about her being a diva. She said, 'It's funny how a certain amount of success comes with a certain amount of weird, inaccurate depictions of you…. But I feel like it will die down because it's not something that I pay into. And also things can only last so long when there's little truth to them. So that's why I don't trip over it."

And she's not afraid to be honest and say what she is thinking. She continued, 'It's weird to me because I do see myself as a fairly positive, very friendly person. So it's kind of odd. I also think a lot of people don't know what the word 'diva' means. If you want to call me a diva I'll say, 'Um, well, cool.' Barbra Streisand is a diva; that's amazing. Celine Dion is a diva; thank you. But if you want to call me a b*tch, that's not accurate. Because it's just not in my nature."

You go, girl. Grande is who she is, and she's not falling into the gossip. It's fantastic to see a star address the issue head-on and stand her ground.

She has an important message for her fans

Grande continues now to be herself and follow her passions. And this is advice she wants her fans to follow too. Speaking with Byrdie, the singer said, "Be yourself and don't listen to any trends… If you happen to like something that is trendy, cool — but just because it's 'in' at the time doesn't mean that you have to jump on the bandwagon. Being yourself is one of the coolest things that you can do. As hard as it may be to get there, once you find that comfort, run with it."

And because Grande is a fabulous human being, she gave an amazing example: "Sh*t, you don't like my ponytail? I'm gonna have it two times bigger tomorrow, and higher, tighter, more hair in there too!…Sh*t, I'll crimp it! You ain't seen a crimp like this in 20 years!"

Grande then brought it back to the her fans and expressed her hope that they not succumb to fear. She said, "My fans, I just really want them to feel empowered by who they are, and to not be afraid of it… Embrace it — then run with it."

What's next for Grande?

Grande has reached an impressive level of success. From acting to singing to business ventures, the 23-year-old has gone above and beyond and doesn't show any signs of slowing down any time soon. So what could possibly be next? Let's just say, Grande is in it for the long haul.

When asked by Byrdie what she hopes to be doing in 10 years, Grande laid it out there, saying, "I hope to be doing exactly what I'm doing now, which is making music, spending time with incredible people whom I love and who love me, and we're good around each other. Rescuing way too many animals — more than I have room for. Hopefully at that point I'll have more room for them, for more animals. I really love my life right now and I'm very appreciative and I'm grateful, so I hope that I just keep going and doing what I'm doing. I'm not gonna take it for granted."

I completely believe that Grande will keep her word. With that passion and drive, I'm sure we'll hear of more stories and successes for Grande for years to come.