×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ariana Grande Previews New ‘Dangerous Woman’ Album for Vevo Concert

“I don’t know what to say y’all, I’m too excited,” Ariana Grande blushed between songs during an intimate performance to preview her new album, “Dangerous Woman,” which drops May 20.

The performance took place inside the Angel Orensanz Center, a mid-19th century synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side. Since it was converted to a multi-purpose venue in the mid-’80s, the space has been the backdrop of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s wedding, as well as performances from stars like Florence + the Machine, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

A video of Grande’s performance will drop simultaneously with the pop star’s album, as part of the “Vevo Presents” series of live performances. Her set included a few crowd-pleasing hits like an acoustic version of “Problem” and “Love Me Harder,” but mostly featured songs from Grande’s upcoming third studio album.

The teen idol-turned-pop star sauntered around the stage in front of a small crowd of screaming devotees. She even accepted a piece of fan art — a drawing of Grande in a latex bunny-ear mask — and placed it in her pocket.

Between songs she laughed and engaged in banter. Grande also rubbed her eyes, sipped from a hot pink water bottle, and at one point threw up the hood on her pink jacket like Rocky Balboa, preparing to emerge victorious.

But Grande’s sultry, laid-back pop star persona comes secondary to her phenomenal vocal facility. The album’s impressive list of collaborators including Nicki Minaj and Macy Gray were hardly missed during the singer’s solo performance (backed by six dancers). Grande riffed and belted her way through the hour-long set, at times effortlessly entering her whistle register.

And the singer’s vocals weren’t the only technical achievement — cameras projected 3D-mapped images onto the synagogue’s elaborate and intricately designed walls. During her performance of the song “Dangerous Woman,” the backdrop burst into flames for rapturous effect. For her encore, Grande strapped on Mi.Mu gloves, (created in collaboration with Imogen Heap), which she has used in past performances to manipulate her voice.

In the pop music industry’s recent divide between surprise releases (Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” Drake’s “Views”) and a gradual, track-by-track release leading to the official drop (Justin Bieber’s “Purpose”), Grande falls into the latter camp.

She is premiering tracks individually on Apple Music leading up to the official release, and four songs from the album — “Dangerous Woman,” “Be Alright,” “Let Me Love You” and “Into You” — are already on Spotify. She has also premiered 36 Instagram posts (where she currently has over 72 million followers) in the past ten days alone with presumably more to come — 28 of which are videos previewing snippets of the record.

After the performance, Grande tweeted “tell me why you know every word already. I love you from the bottom of my heart, Ny. what a special night.”

More Music

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: 'Women Have Balls!'

    For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first [...]

  • Fat Joe

    Fat Joe Joins 'New York Undercover' Pilot at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fat Joe has been cast in the “New York Undercover” pilot currently in the works at ABC, Variety has learned exclusively. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore (Toby Sandeman) and Melissa Ortiz (Otmara Marrero) as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content