Entertainment

Ariana Grande’s Music Video Evolution, From Nickelodeon Sidekick To Pop Titan

The star can sexify anything from exercise bikes to robots.

Ariana Grande’s path to the pop powerhouse she is today was one of patience and hard work. After the jump, we take a look at her journey via her most memorable music videos, through which she's established a singular identity for herself: a brilliant mind who can sexify anything from exercise bikes to robots.

“The Way” ft. Mac Miller (2013)

Mac and Ari weren’t yet dating, but the chemistry in this simple video leaps off the screen.

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“Right There” ft. Big Sean (2013)

In which Ariana, Big Sean, and Patrick Schwarzenegger attend a masquerade ball.

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“Problem” ft. Iggy Azalea (2014)

A mod take on what would become a classic Ari video trope: a gaggle of talented dancers surrounding her.

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“Break Free” ft. Zedd (2014)

With “Break Free,” Grande broke through to a new audience, creating an LGBTQ+ anthem with a Chromatica-predicting video to boot.

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“Bang Bang” ft. Jessie J, Nicki Minaj (2014)

Grande is still the little girl with a big voice (and ponytail) in her collab with Jessie J and Minaj, but hints of her future powerhouse status can be found in the harmonies.

“One Last Time” (2015)

What do you do when humanity faces a life-destroying comet barreling towards Earth? Put on your American Apparel hoodie and grab your boyfriend for one last kiss, if you’re Ariana Grande.

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“Focus” (2015)

Ari’s gaggle of dancers return for this sultry, selfie celebration video that essentially exists to also show off her new silver do.

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“Side To Side” (2016)

With a Nicki Minaj appearance and its brilliant use of an exercise bike as metaphor, “Side To Side” remains one of Ari’s most iconic pop masterpieces.

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“No Tears Left To Cry” (2018)

Ari’s Sweetener era took her visuals to the next level starting with the mind-bending video for “No Tears Left To Cry” which looks like if M. C. Escher made music videos.

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“God Is A Woman” (2018)

Ari’s Sweetener era of excellence continues with this break-the-internet visual, in which Ari fingers the Earth and lays naked in a pool of pastel milk.

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“Thank U, Next” (2019)

What more can we say about this cultural moment other than: the power that this has, the intelligence that this has, the clearance that this has, etc, etc.

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“Positions” (2020)

In which Ariana Grande imagined a future with her as commander in chief, and simultaneously saved the 2020 presidential election.

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“34+35” (2020)

If there’s one thing Ariana Grande’s going to do it’s sexify anything, as she does here with math and robots!

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