High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

While Shady Plays with His Belly Button ...They're Busy Conquering the World!

Welcome to Part 4 of my 12-part

tribute to the divas of modern pop,

pop-rock and and pop-rap!

The stars are coming out

to play so let's get

this function underway!


I once quipped to my good buddy Chris Martin,
that too much beauty and talent... is a very good
good thing indeed. Ariana Grande has been
dubbed the next Mariah Carey. Young and
beautiful, talent oozing from every pore,
Ariana is a worthy contender for the
title Queen of All Media.

Shady sings in the shower. Ariana, a four octave
soprano, sings in the whistle register (aka flute
register), the highest register of which the
human voice is capable. (Remember the
late, great Minnie Riperton?) Ariana's
2014 album My Everything debuted at
#1 on the Billboard 200 (not too shabby!).
It was her second consecutive #1 charting
U.S. album. With 4 hit singles released
from My Everything, Ariana spent 34
continuous weeks in the top 10 on the
Billboard Hot 100 and placed more
singles in the top 10 that year
than any other artist.

Ariana is also an actress with a string of credits
that includes a regular role on the Nick series
VICTORiOUS, the spinoff series Sam & Cat,
and appearances in the 2013 movie
Swindle and the Fox television
series Scream Queens.



In late August 2014, Ariana's fans, called Arianators,
were out in force to watch the gifted thrush perform 
live on Today as part of the NBC morning program's
Toyota Concert Series. Click at the 14:42 spot on
the following video and watch Ariana perform
 "Break Your Heart Right Back," a single from
My Everything, featuring Childish Gambino
(actor, comedian and rapper Donald Glover).
I get chills and fever when I hear the
familiar riff from the 1980 Diana Ross
hit "I'm Coming Out" sampled
throughout Ariana's song.
Just listen!

 "Break Your Heart Right Back" 
 Ariana Grande (ft. Childish Gambino) 
 Live on Today, Aug. 29, 2014) 




I'd love to go to Holland someday, wooden shoe?

Meet Dutch R&B singer, songwriter and dancer
Natalie La Rose. In 2008 Natalie came to
America and took up residence in L.A. to
further her career. In 2015 Natalie hit the
jackpot with her debut single, the top 10
charting "Somebody," featuring Chicago
Def Jam artist Jeremy Felton, stage name
Jeremih. Listen for the interpolation of
the Whitney Houston hit "I Wanna Dance
With Somebody" used throughout the song.

 "Somebody" - Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih 
 (Feb./Mar. 2015, h.c.p. #10 Hot 100 
 #1 US Rhythmic/#1 UK R&B) 



Here's another hot number from Ariana Grande.
In the fall of 2014 Ariana and Canadian indie
R&B artist The Weeknd released the single
"Love Me Harder. " With velvety vocals by
both artists and a seductive dance rhythm,
"Love Me Harder" became Ariana's 4th top 10
hit from her album My Everything and the first
top 10 hit for Weeknd. "Harder" made it look
easy, topping the chart on radio stations with
the recently created Rhythmic Contemporary
format. This joint sizzles - fo shizzle!

 "Love Me Harder" 
 Ariana Grande & The Weeknd 
 (Nov. 2014, highest chart pos. #7 
 #1 on US Rhythmic chart, from the 
 Aug. 2014 album My Everything




That fall Ariana teamed up with two more
talented artists, English pop and R&B songbird
Jessie J and Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj,
on the single "Bang Bang." The song debuted
at #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart
and became an international hit, peaking
at #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 in the UK
and three other countries. Watch as
the 'timidatin' trio seeks and destroys!

 "Bang Bang" 
 Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj 
 (Sept. 2014, highest chart pos. 
 #3 Hot 100/#1 UK) 



"Problem," a collaboration between Ariana Grande
and Australian rap star Iggy Azalea. was released
as the lead single from Ariana's megahit album
My Everything.  The single was a smash, #2 on
the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the UK, Canada
and four other countries. A dynamic duo if there
ever was one, Ari & Iggy kick butt all over town
and the retro 1960s inspired video is closing in
on a billion (with a "B") views on YouTube!

 "Problem" - Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea 
 (May/June 2014, highest chart pos. 
 #2 Hot 100/#1 US Mainstream Top 40 
 #1 US Rhythmic, from My Everything 


At Christmas 2015, Ariana Grande was back
on the charts and back on the tube with "Focus,"
a single from the Japanese edition of her third
studio album Dangerous Woman. More than
100 million viewers focused on this hot clip
in the first three weeks after its release!

 "Focus" - Ariana Grande 
 (Dec. 2015, highest chart pos. #7 Hot 100, 
 from May 2016 Japanese edition 
 of album Dangerous Woman

I hope you enjoyed my latest batch of
modern pop and dance club nuggets.
Stay tuned for more sensational sounds
from Generation Y and Z divas coming
your way soon in Part 5. See you then!

Have a Shady day!


  1. Wow, talk about infatuation, Mr Shady ... woooweee... smiles ... let's dance then ... shall we? Love, cat.

    1. ... anyway awesome blog U have here, friend Shady ... Love, cat.

    2. ... anyway, thank 4 makin me smile 2day, friend Shady ... Love, cat.

    3. Hi, cat!

      How are you today, my dear Canadian friend? Thank you for being the early kitty today. :)

      I love your enthusiasm and I loved watching the video you gave me showing the Romanian gypsy girl and her family dancing. What a coincidence, cat, because SDMM is beginning a new chapter. You will understand what I mean starting with my very next post on the 4th of July. I know you well enough by now to practically guarantee that you will appreciate what lies ahead. Thank you very much for coming, dear friend cat, and please stay tuned!

    4. :) right back at cha, dear cat! :)

  2. Kathryn AndersonJune 29, 2016 at 4:35 AM

    Ariana Grande is very pretty-- and a talented singer and dancer. She found a clever way to remember the old Diana Ross song in Break Your Heart Right Back. The same is true of the use of Whitney Houston's song on Natalie La Rose's Somebody. Bang Bang is my favorite-- with the three women taking turns singing-- a very exciting song and video! It seems like the hot trend is for female artists to feature male rappers on their records-- is that true?

    Fine performances all around, Shady!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for reporting in. Yessum, I was thrilled to hear the refrain "I'm Comin'," extracted from the Diana Ross hit "I'm Coming Out," sampled in that hit recording by Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino. I was also jazzed to hear one of my favorite Whitney Houston hits "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" woven through the recording by Natalie and Jeremih. If I had to pick a favorite in this bunch, I would probably agree with you and choose "Bang Bang" because it includes electrifying performances by not one but three of today's most exciting artists.

      Yessum, many of today's female artists are collaborating with DJ/producer types around the world and featuring rappers in their songs to enhance street cred. Some of the rappers, such as Trinidad native Nicki Minaj and Australia's Iggy Azalea (both featured in this post) are female.

      I'm so glad you liked these offerings, Kathryn. Stay tuned for lots more in this series plus a special announcement on July 4. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. The whistle range. Now that is hitting some high notes.
    She's a pretty young lady, which also doesn't hurt.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      That's right - the whistle register. Dogs come runnin' when girls like Ariana sing. :) You are probably too young to remember the late Minnie Riperton. If you arent familiar with her, I invite you to go to YouTube and listen to her hit "Loving You."

      Thank you for stopping by, good buddy Alex, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. I knew that face but just couldn't place it until you said "Sam and Cat"..oh yes, my little Grandkiddos, Lex and Addy, love that show. What a talent that young Ariana is and Grande is a fitting last name for someone who has it all in a "grande" way! Fine tunes and fun videos. Seriously, who doesn't love "Bang Bang"? So much fun. May I just put in a teeny suggestion dear Shady? While you're playing with your belly button just grab a Q-Tip and clean it out. I can't even begin to tell you what comes out of belly buttons when we prep a belly for surgery. Sheesh! Atleast no junk came out of this blog post today! Have a great weekend and enjoy your July 4th! Granddaughter, Driana, is loving living in Florida so far!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa!

      How are you, my sweet friend? Thank you very much for getting the jump on your 4th of July weekend by visiting me and experiencing the music of Ariana and friends.

      Yessum, Ariana's face has been showing up on quite a few television shows. I started watching Scream Queens. It's a hoot. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the three ladies performing together in "Bang Bang." I will have more by Jessie J and Nicki Minaj in upcoming posts.

      Ha! I can imagine all the surprises you find when cleaning out patients' navels prior to surgery. Mrs. Shady once knitted an entire sweater from my belly button lint. :)

      I am thrilled to know that grandkiddo Driana is enjoying life in the Sunshine State. I hope you will take plenty of pictures of the 4th of July festivities at the Pines. I look forward to that post.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear friend YaYa!

  5. Ariana is kinda annoying BUT I will give her credit- she can do great imitations. She was on SNL last year I think and one skit she sang various artists songs as them and it was great!
    Have a great weekend and July 4th Shadester!!!

    1. Hi, Holli!

      Thank you for coming, dear friend! I enjoyed that SNL sketch. Thanks for giving it to me. I read a few things about Ariana that weren't very flattering, such as her allegedly "impolite interactions" with fans and the media, but that kind of criticism is nothing new in the rarefied world of pop divas. Just ask Diana Ross.

      Thanks again for coming over, dear friend Holli!

  6. Ariana has a lot of talent. I first saw her on a sitcom, where she was playing a ditzy girl. Honestly, her high, breathy voice kind of annoyed me on that show. I was glad to hear that her singing was much better. I knew of all of those songs, but it was nice to see the video. She has an interesting style - kind of R & B, kind of '60s, and kind of contemporary pop.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming by, dear friend! Ariana Grande is a talented actress as well as a gifted songstress. True - her high pitched, breathy vocals don't suit everybody - but I admire her versatility. She handles all those styles you mentioned with aplomb. I am impressed by her dancing, too. I loved the dance routine she performed in that clip from NBC's Today.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Sherry!

  7. Now you're talking , Shady! This is my kinda thang! I spin at the gym to all these song hits!
    I love Ariana. My grandkids first turned /tuned me on to her with the Nickelodeon show, "Sam & Cat". Funny thing, she had the MOST annoying & irritating voice on that show! I hope you saw her this year on SNL! She did a skit where she imitated other pop stars ( Shakira, Celine, Brittney, Whitney and so many others). She was spot on!!!! (Hope you can Google that!) Speaking of SNL, did you know that former "not ready for primetime player", Maya Rudolph is/was Minnie Riperton's daughter?
    Anyway, I love all these tunes and artists, Iggy, the Weekend,Jessie J. , Nicki. I didn't know Natalie LaRose but I sure knew her song!
    There's so much young talent out there! Thanks for bringing some of it to the surface, Shady!

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend! I predicted that I would score a hit with you by presenting Ariana Grande and friends. I never saw Sam & Cat. I only know Ariana from Scream Queens which I just started watching. You aren't the first person to tell me she she had an irritating voice on that kids' show. You also aren't the first to turn me on to Ariana's SNL sketch. I watched it for the first time earlier today and thought she did a terrific job imitating other singing stars. No, I wasn't aware that Maya Rudolph is Minnie Riperton's daughter. I know you are considerably younger than Shady, but may I assume that you remember Minnie's shrill, high-pitched vocals on her hit record "Loving You"?

      I'm delighted to know you recognize and like all of today's offerings, dear friend Toni. Thank you very much for the great comment and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Hi Shady!
    Quite the presentation you have here today! I remember Ariana from her Sam & Cat days and wondered how in the world she maintained that voice she always spoke in. Now I know. That's a lot of talent packed in one pretty young lady. Hope she does well with it ;-)
    I enjoyed the trio best for the song and the all-around busyness of the video. I do like to see artists support one another, Santana used to do it too.
    Thanks for another enjoyable music mini-fest!

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for swinging by to sample the sizzlers in part 4 of my year long pop/rap series. Seems everybody has seen the Sam & Cat TV series except me! I'll have to search for it and have a look. I'm glad your ears agree with mine and that you recognize the talent of Ariana Grande. I am also pleased that you enjoyed the terrible trio of Jessie, Ariana and Nicki in "Bang Bang," not to be confused with the Cher song.

      Thank you again for being here today, dear friend Diedre. I'm glad you had some fun. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and that you have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

  9. First thought is, this is the first time I've hear Weeknd sober... and I may have heard this one non- sober...

    I would rather listen to the style of collab by the Weeknd and the second guy than the straight rap of Glover. In fact, the Weeknd song is kinda catchy... I was fine with the trio until Minaj came on for the same reason. And, on those same lines, I would have done better with Focus without the dude with the f-problem.

    I'm not of a real favor of sampling as a rule. However, I thought the chunk of "She Loves You" in All You Need Is Love was cool as hell, so I can't throw stones either.

    So all in all, I'd say you taught me to be more tolerant of Weeknd, but I think my opinion of Minaj might have drifted a little closer to my son's opinion- and that ain't pretty.

    But, I still had fun- and didn't even stop to use the restroom! Until now...

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for coming over for my latest pop fizz, good buddy! I'm glad you were able to leave your full comment all in one post this time w/o being interrupted by Laurie or Scrappy. :)

      I'm glad you found at least a couple of things to like in this post, even though some of it wasn't your cuppa. As you know by now, my ears are tuned differently. I tend to enjoy recordings that utilize sampling. (Thanks for reminding me about the inspired sampling of "She Loves You" in "All You Need.") In addition, I have developed a taste for rap, don't mind the use of the F-word in music and get a kick out of Nicki Minaj. I have more along these lines coming up future installments of this series and in other series that I will be soon be launching. I am confident that our friendship can handle it. :)

      It's nice to know this post enabled you to become a little more tolerant of the Weeknd and that you had some fun in the Shady today, good buddy. I hope your noggin is feeling a lot better by now and I wish you and your family a safe and happy I-Day Weeknd!

  10. She is like a tiny little thing with a huge freakishly amazing voice. She also is a killer in impersonating other great singers. I think this is only the beginning for this little powerhouse

    1. Hi, dear Birgit!

      How are you, my wonderful friend? I'm very happy to see you and hope you and your husband are feeling much better by now.

      I'm glad your ears matched mine on Ariana Grande. Seems you have already watched that SNL sketch everybody's been talking about. I'm finally up to speed on it thanks to others who have commented. Ariana is being called the next Mariah Carey and it appears that she is well on her way to achieving the same degree of long term success.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend BB!

  11. Hey hey there Mr. Shady!
    While not a hugggeeee fan of AG, I am frequently in awe and can instantly recognize her voice.
    Her tone and range is simply amazing!!
    I think that one day she will be looked up to for more than just what this culture sees as a pretty faced star. I feel like she could sing any genre flawlessly, if she wanted!
    Have a good day!
    - A&D

    1. Hi, Abigail & Daisy!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friends! I was in the middle school choir and dreamed of being a great singer. I envy people like Ariana Grande who have a refined vocal instrument. She can tackle several different styles of material convincingly. There is evidence that Ariana agrees with you about the way our culture regards female entertainers. Quoting Wiki, Ariana << was praised in the press and by female celebrities like Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Selena Gomez for an "empowering" 2015 essay posted on Twitter decrying the double standard and misogyny in the focus of the press on female musicians' relationships and sex lives, instead of "their value as an individual". Grande noted that she has "more to talk about" concerning her music and accomplishments. In 2016, E! called her "a feminist hero" in an essay examining Grande's feminist statements.>>

      Thank you again for your visit and comments, dear friend Abigail. I wish you and Daisy a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

  12. Shades of Minnie - what a range!

    Bang Bang was fun!

    1. Hi, Dixie!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for dropping by for a look and a listen.

      I'm glad you remember the great Minnie Riperton. It's hard to believe that in a couple weeks it will be 37 years since she passed away at the age of 31.

      Glad you enjoyed the terrible trio in "Bang Bang."

      Thanks again, dear friend Dixie!

  13. Ariana sings a little too high for my taste but I like when she collaborates with others. I especially liked Bang Bang and Love Me Harder.

    She's certainly making her mark though, isn't she? Was fun learning about her and her success so far. She's got some serious energy and she definitely has talent.

    Great presentation of this young talent here Shady! Another fab installment!

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and catch some awesome fireworks...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks for popping over, dear friend! It is only in the last year or so that I have developed, not only a tolerance, but a taste for singers like Ariana Grande. Pop artists like her collaborate with deeper voiced rappers (both male and female) to balance the sound of their recordings and enhance their street cred. I'm happy to know that you found a tune or two to your liking.

      I hope your mom is doing much better lately and I wish you and your folks a safe and happy holiday weekend. I hope the fireworks don't rattle your dogs too much!

      Thanks again for coming by, dear friend Michele!

  14. Hi, Shady; Thanks for sharing this group of talented young women. I've seen them on TV at one time or another, except for Natalie. Interesting that she comes from The Netherlands. Ariana is a cutie and can obviously sing well, but you know me and girly voices. ☺ As Michele said, it's better when she collaborates with others. Bang Bang was the most enjoyable. Have a fabulous 4th of July weekend!

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thank you very much for coming down to see Pt. 4 of my pop/hip hop/rap series. Ariana Grande sings in the whistle register aka the flute register aka "the Girly Register." :) It doesn't surprise me that her voice isn't music to your ears. :) Maybe you can use her singing to call your dogs. :) Thank you for searching for and finding something to like in the post. I'm glad you enjoyed "Bang Bang." It seems to be everybody's favorite.

      Please note that I need to be on the road today and therefore I will be absent from the BOTB circuit. It's a long holiday weekend and I promise to visit your Den, listen to your tunes and vote in your band battle a.s.a.p. after I return home.

      Thank you again for spending some time with me here in the Shady, dear friend Debbie, and have a safe and happy weekend!

    2. Even if I don't like her voice, Ariana's talent is indisputable and she is a pretty little thing, as well. It's a holiday today in Canada, so I understand. No worries about the BOTB. Voting remains open until the 7th, but I see you've already visited me. Thanks! ☺ Have a fabulous July 4th!

    3. You too, dear friend! Thank you very much for the return visit and for your ongoing support, Debbie.


  15. All I can say is thank God for auto-tune
    or these girls would be working at McDonalds. These girls all sound like 5 year olds.

    1. Hey, Dave!

      How are you doing, my old friend? Thank you very much for reporting in!

      I have always identified with producers and sound mixers because I worked in that field for a number of years. I agree that Auto-Tune has the ability to make an average singer sound great. I'm not saying all of the women in this series owe their success to modern technology, but it certainly helps when the producer "fixes it in the mix." Recently I was shocked to hear a live performance by one of my favorites. She sounded just plain terrible.

      Thanks again for following me and expressing yourself today, Dave. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

  16. No doubt that there is some talent here, but none of the songs grabbed me as much as Justin Bieber's last album. Maybe too much rap like hip hop on these cuts. Nice eye candy though.

    It's still not as good as the music of the 70's in this old codger's opinion.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      Thanks for dropping by, good buddy!

      Since 2013 my ears have been tuned to female vocalists. Therefore I have not yet become a Bieber Belieber. Since the start of this year I have been digging the pop, hip hop and rap scenes. Until this phase passes I will be presenting more of my favorites in those categories. Bear with me! :)

      There's more eye candy coming up in my next post on the 4th of July and I hope you'll join me.

      Thanks again for coming, good buddy Lee, and have a great holiday!

  17. I have to admit, I never heard of Ariana Grande until her brother showed up on Big Brother. I wasn't a big fan of him, so I was unsure about getting to know his sister, even through her music. But I have sampled some and of course what you have offered here and it seems I do like her singing. She's really good. Not sure that makes me a big fan yet, but there you have it. ;)

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Thanks for coming, good buddy! It was a pleasure to introduce you to the high range vocal gymnastics of pop star Ariana Grande. Seems you like Ariana more than most of the other people who commented. I hope you also
      enjoyed the contributions of Natalie La Rose, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea.

      Thanks again for stopping by, good buddy Jeffrey, and have a great holiday weekend!

  18. Tom, I enjoyed your latest edition in Divas in POP music. Ariana is a beautiful young girl with a lot of talent. I think I like Mariaha Carey better than Ariana, but I enjoyed the songs (some are new-to-me) I've heard today. I haven't heard of Natalie La Rose before now and really appreciated the introduction. Natalie is also a pretty young woman with talent. I wonder how she sounds live. That's how I can tell if an artist is good or not. Too many singers rely on studio magic to carry their careers and most people don't know or don't care enough to know the difference. Thanks for music education! Have a funtastic, safe 4th of July weekend!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for coming by, dear friend! I'm glad you enjoyed a tune or two in this latest post saluting the current crop of pop/pop-rock/hip hop and rap divas. As my ongoing series of posts on Phil Spector reminds us, studio wizardry is nothing new. For many years it has been used to make hit records. Back then, same as now, there were solo artists, groups and bands that needed help and relied on the producer and the sound guy to make them sound better than they actually were. When it came time for live tours, more talented replacement personnel were sometimes used. It never mattered much to me because the producer has always been my hero. That's why I went to broadcast school and became one. All that matters to me is the finished studio product - the sound mix and the impact of the video. I am one of the few people I know that would rather hear studio produced recordings and watch conceptual music videos than go to see a live performance.

      Thank you again for visiting, dear friend Cathy. I wish you and your DH a safe and happy holiday weekend!

  19. Thanks for sharing! With your insight I can attempt to keep up with my daughter on modern pop stars!

    1. Hi, Mike!

      Thanks for coming over, good buddy!

      I haven't exactly become an authority on modern pop, but I am having fun learning about and listening to some of the key figures along with talented newcomers who could be the stars of tomorrow. The cast of characters keeps changing month by month and it's hard to keep up.

      Thanks again for dropping in, good buddy Mike, and have a wonderful weekend!

  20. I am three days late to the party, but I absolutely love all of your song choices for this post! Ariana Grande is one of my new favorite artists! I hope you have a great 4th of July!

    1. Hi, Ashton!

      Thank you very much for coming, dear friend!

      Surprisingly, Ariana Grande's "approval rating" isn't as high as I expected it would be. Only about half of the people who commented seemed genuinely excited about her performances. It's nice to know that she is one of your favorite new artists.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, Ashton. I wish you and your family a safe and happy 4th!


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