Unless you’ve been living under a rock — or you passed out early Sunday night and missed all of the 2013 American Music Awards — you’ve probably heard of rising diva Ariana Grande by now. Sure, the 20-year-old songstress is a Nickelodeon star, but she’s far too talented to be written off like that. So talented, in fact, that you may have bopped your head along to her uber-catchy hit “The Way” this summer and not even realize that it wasn’t actually Mariah Carey belting out those notes.
Well, it’s time you get better acquainted with Ariana, and the best way to do so is through her performances. It was tough to narrow it down, but we’ve rounded up three of her best live showings so far. Don’t forget to pick your jaw up off the floor afterwards.
1. Hyping up the 2013 Video Music Awards red carpet with “Baby I” and “The Way”
For newer Arianators, this was probably one of the first live performances you saw from the R&B singer. She really stole the pre-show, opening a capella with “Baby I” before moving into a dance-filled “The Way” and squashing any doubts that she had the goods.
2. Singing Broadway versions of rap hits on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Though she didn’t bust out any major notes here, this appearance with Jimmy Fallon was too fun to omit. Playing up her Broadway roots (and one helluva Judy Garland impression), Ariana showed off a more classic side to her voice and displayed a great sense of humor.
3. Stunning the audience with “Tattooed Heart” at the 2013 American Music Award
A star is born. Ariana’s Motown-inspired performance of this mid-tempo ballad, along with her Jessica Rabbit ensemble, capture the attention of America last Sunday night. And now she can count fellow divas Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga as fans.
BONUS: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at L.A. tree lighting
It is the holiday season, after all. We’ll call this one a bonus, since it’s an older performance, but due to her love of Christmas music and for doing Mariah Carey covers, it seemed only fitting. This is the pinnacle of holiday pop songs, and she passes with flying colors.
What do you think of these Ariana performances? Are you a newfound Arianator? Let us know in the comments below.