As she kept herself busy with television, Grande began to pursue a musical career. She frequently made appearances at sporting events and with symphonies, and she made her first appearances on record via the soundtracks to Victorious. In 2011, she released the single “Put Your Hearts Up,” which was cut during sessions for a teen-oriented pop album; she later disowned the single due to its kiddie feel. Grande felt much more comfortable with “The Way,” her 2013 single featuring Mac Miller. This signaled a mature direction and audiences responded, taking it to the Top Ten in the U.S., where it was eventually certified triple platinum. It was the first single from her 2013 debut, Yours Truly, which also featured hits in “Baby I” and “Right There.”
At the end of the year she released a seasonal EP called Christmas Kisses, but her real efforts went into the recording of her second album, My Everything. Preceded by the single “Problem” — a song that featured a guest spot from Iggy Azalea, the “it girl” of the summer of 2014; it peaked at two on the U.S. charts and was certified double platinum — the album featured a host of different producers, including Max Martin, Shellback, Ryan Tedder, and Benny Blanco. It was released at the end of August 2014, hitting number one on charts across the globe. Subsequent singles featured assists by Zedd (“Break Free”), Jessie J and Nicki Minaj (“Bang Bang”), and the Weeknd (“Love Me Harder”). At one point in 2014, three of her songs were in the Billboard Top Ten at the same time, a feat matched only be Adele. By the time fifth single “One Last Time” charted in early 2015, My Everything had sold nearly 600,000 copies.
As that album’s cycle wound down, Grande guest-starred on Ryan Murphy’s campy slasher series Scream Queens and she also recorded another holiday EP, Christmas & Chill. In October 2015, Grande released the single “Focus,” which debuted at number seven on the Hot 100 and was certified platinum the following January. That February, she announced her third album, Dangerous Woman, and released the album’s title track as a single in March. The song debuted at number ten on the Hot 100, making Grande the first artist to have the lead single from each of her first three albums debut in the Top Ten. Featuring collaborations with Macy Gray, Future, and Nicki Minaj, Dangerous Woman appeared in May 2016.
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