Taken by the singer's impressive performance at her One Love Manchester gig last night? Here's a starter guide to some of the star's biggest tracks
Following her triumphant return to the stage last night at the star-studded One Love Manchester gig, the respect and love for Ariana Grande may never have been higher than it is right now. Her tireless efforts to curate the charity Old Trafford show (which raised £2million on the night for the We Love Manchester fund) even dredged an apology out of noted apology-hater Piers Morgan.
But despite being one of the world’s leading pop stars, last night’s show still would’ve been the first time that some people would’ve actually engaged with Grande’s music. And, after closing the show with an emotional rendition of her 2014 single ‘One Last Time’ (before ending proceedings with a fitting cover of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’), you could have bet that a healthy majority of those people would’ve pulled up their Spotify or Apple Music accounts, eager to hear more.
If you’re one of those people, look no further – while no means intended to be a comprehensive guide, here’s a starter guide to some of the best ArianaBangers.
We’ll kick off our whistle-stop tour of Grande’s best tunes with ‘Into You’, which is taken from her most recent album ‘Dangerous Woman’. We called it a “club anthem-to-be” upon its release, and its thumping, EDM-indebted beats – paired with Grande’s initially-whispered vocals – have certainly got the capacity to make you pull some serious shapes on your local dancefloor.
‘All My Love’ (feat. Major Lazer)
Written for the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack, Grande’s hook-up with Major Lazer takes flight down a similar EDM route as ‘Into You’, shimmying with its dancehall-inflected rhythms – plus, it was co-written by Lorde, which is no bad thing at all.
Back to solo territory, ‘Be Alright’ – which also featured on last year’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ – starts off like a Mura Masa instrumental, before briefly switching to building piano chords as Grande’s powerful vocals lead into an irresistible chorus that, rather wonderfully, serves up a sumptuous slice of deep house. If you’re looking for vibes, Ariana’s got ’em in spades here.
‘Break Free’ (feat. Zedd)
Harking back to Grande’s second album ‘My Everything’, her collaboration with Russian-German producer Zedd is worthy of inclusion here for its filthy clash-of-the-synths beginning alone. But yes, another up-tempo banger from Grande, which essentially marked her first foray into electronic music – not a bad way to kick things off, eh?
‘Side To Side’ (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Grande’s booming popularity means that her little black book is simply bursting with willing superstar collaborators – and, when it works as well as it does here with Nicki Minaj, it’s pretty clear that Ariana’s going to need to buy another Moleskine to keep up with the demand. Nicki declares herself the “Queen of Rap” here too, which is quite a statement to make.
Rounding off our Ariana 101 class is ‘Bad Decisions’, which featured as a deep cut on ‘Dangerous Woman’. The instrumental bounce is complimented by Grande’s soaring pop vocals, which flit from sweet harmonies to near rap-singing in the verses, which at one point sees Ariana musing: “Ain’t you ever seen a princess be a bad bitch?“
That missive has inspired sheer joy in the accompanying YouTube rip’s comments section, with one person simply writing: “SLAY, QUEEN” – and right now, that’s precisely what Ariana Grande is doing.