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Ariana Grande -Butera (; born June 26, 1993) is an American singer , songwriter , and actress . A multi- platinum , Grammy Award -winning recording artist , she is known for her wide vocal range, which critics have often compared to that of Mariah Carey . Born in Boca Raton, Florida , Grande began her career in 2008 in the Broadway musical, 13. She rose to prominence for her role as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series , Victorious (2010–2013) and in its spin-off, Sam & Cat (2013– 2014 ). As she grew interested in pursuing a music career, Grande recorded songs for the soundtrack of Victorious and signed with Republic Records in 2011 after the label 's executives discovered videos of her covering songs that she uploaded onto YouTube . She released her debut album , Yours Truly , in 2013. A 1950s doo-wop-influenced pop and R&B album , it debuted atop the US Billboard 200 and spawned her first US top-ten single, "The Way", featuring rapper Mac Miller. Grande's second studio album , My Everything ( 2014 ), continued the pop-R&B sound of its predecessor and incorporated EDM elements. It topped the Billboard 200 and featured four US top-ten singles: " Problem ", " Break Free ", " Bang Bang ", and " Love Me Harder", the most of any artist that year. Grande's pop-R&B styles extended on her third studio album , Dangerous Woman ( 2016 ), which was her first of three consecutive number -one albums in the UK. On her next two albums, Sweetener ( 2018 ) and Thank U, Next ( 2019 ), Grande experimented with trap while maintaining her characteristic pop-R&B tones; the former won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album , while the latter broke several streaming records.