Getting someone’s name wrong is always embarrassing, but it usually rectified within the first few moments after making the mistake.
If it goes on any longer it kind of goes beyond a joke, and if you’re the person whose name is pronounced incorrectly, and you can’t correct everybody, eventually you just have to resign yourself to the fact some people don’t get it.
I imagine that’s what David Bowie did anyway.
But after gracing the pop charts with her music for some time now, Ariana Grande has decided to set the record straight when it comes to her name.
Contrary to popular belief, she’s not named after a size of drink from Starbucks. I always thought that was a masterstroke of marketing though, every morning when I ordered my skinny vanilla soya frap with an extra shot I thought of good old Ariana.
Instead, it turns out the name Grande is actually real, and we’ve all been pronouncing it wrong, which has come as a grande surprise to everyone.
The Dangerous Woman-singer is currently promoting her new album Sweetener, and stopped by Beats1 Radio to talk about it. While she talked about the record and, of course, her relationship with beau Pete Davidson, she also talked about her name.
The host, Ebro Darden, asked her:
Will your professional name be Ariana Grande-Davidson?
But, as we all know, the best pop stars only need one name to get by – Cher, Prince, Beyonce, Britney…
So Grande replied:
I don’t know, I feel like I’d eventually just like to be ‘Ariana’.
Which she could definitely do, it’s not like anyone is really going to confuse her with anyone else at this point. However, there is a reason behind the Grande.
I have to keep Grande because [of] my grandpa – I think of him with everything I do. He was so proud of our name.
The singer then casually drops the unexpected pronunciation of Grande as ‘Gran-dee’, not, as the coffee chain would have you believe, ‘Graaan-day’.
Check it out here to listen for yourself:
Ariana goes on to explain:
My grandpa said ‘Gran-dee’ […] my brother kinda changed it to Grande because ‘Gran-dee’ was like the Americanised version of it […] and my brother was like ‘we should say Grande, it’s so fun to say, it’s like a funny name’.
Funny names. I know all about them, Ariana.
The name hasn’t done her any harm though, at age 24 she has delivered three platinum-selling albums and surpassed 18 billion streams, in addition to being nominated for four Grammy Awards.
With the release of her new album, Sweetener, Ariana is on track to become one of the biggest pop stars of all time. She’s come a long way from playing Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon series Victorious.
Anyway, I’m off to Starbs so I’ll let you know how they react when I order my gran-dee mocha.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.