Ariana Grande’s “Arianators” are fiercely loyal to the superstar pop singer.
When she was forced to cancel two Florida concert dates May 28 and 29 in Tampa and Orlando due to an allergic reaction to tomatoes, her fans took to social media in protest, urging others to boycott the fruit, with one going so far as to create the hashtag #DeathToTomatoes.
And when her new wax figure recently was unveiled at Madame Tussauds London, it also caused a stir after the 25-year-old singer responded on an Instagram post about the wax likeness, which her fans called offensive.
“She deserves more respect you know,” wrote one adoring follower. “She’s the best pop female singer in the world and all you can do was this.”
Grande, who brings her current “Sweetener” tour to Pittsburgh for one performance June 12 at PPG Paints Arena, has also been getting plenty of attention for more legitimate reasons.
The title track from her fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next,” was the first No. 1 song on Billboard’s 2019 Hot 100 chart, followed by “7 Rings,” which also debuted at the top when it was released in January.
She earned rave reviews for her performance with ‘NSYNC members Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick during the April 14 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
‘Woman of the Year’
She also ended 2018 on a positive note by being named Billboard’s Woman of the Year at its 13th annual Women in Music event Dec. 6 in New York City.
Her upward spiral is a welcome change from personal tragedies she has been through, including the loss of Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, whom she dated until May 2018. Miller died four months later, on Sept. 7, of an accidental drug overdose.
Of course the most devastating experience she had took place in Manchester, England, where she was performing as part of her Dangerous Woman Tour in May 2017 when a suicide bomber disrupted the concert, killing 22 and injuring more than 50 people.
Grande, a Florida native, suspended her tour after the incident and expressed her emotions on Twitter: “Broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
Before she launched her music career, Grande acted in the Broadway musical “13” in 2008 and played Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon TV series, “Victorious,” and its spinoff series, “Sam and Cat,” until 2014.
Her first recording was in 2011 with the soundtrack of “Victorious,” followed by her debut studio album, “Yours Truly,” in 2013.
Awards and honors
She has earned three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards and four Grammy-Award nominations. Her recent Top 40 hits include “No Tears Left To Cry,” ”Breathin’” and “God Is A Woman.”
Her current Sweetener World Tour, produced by Live Nation, kicked off in North America on March 18 in Albany, N.Y., and continues into August before she heads to Europe and the UK for concert dates scheduled through October.
Security measures in place
In Pittsburgh, her concert with special guests Normani and Social House will include added security measures, including a clear-bag policy.
PPG Paints Arena marketing manager Alyssa Blumling said, “Every show is different as to policies on what they allow in, outside of our building policy.”
The bag policy for Grande’s concert includes the following:
• Each fan may carry one bag (No bags inside of bags, i.e. makeup bag inside the clear bag). Anything that snaps, zips or encloses anything in a pouch is considered a “bag.”
• All bags must be 100% clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and cannot exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
• An exception will be made for medically necessary items after thorough proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose. We will take pre-notifications of these items to the PPG Paints Arena info account: [email protected]
• Also, please note: No cameras or recording devices are permitted. (Cellphones with cameras are permitted.)
Blumling said tickets are not currently available “but that can change before day of show.”
Also, guests are encouraged not to bring anything to the building that is not necessary. All food and merchandise stands accept all major credit and debit cards.