Ariana Grande is the epitome of a child star success story. She’s managed to do what many young actresses and singers can only hope to achieve, taking on various projects and building an impressive career that only seems to be getting stronger (and more financially lucrative) with each passing year. Since her big break on the small screen as a teenager, Grande has solidified herself as a chart-topping pop star, unbeatable perfume creator, and successful product endorser. Thanks to impressive album sales, million-dollar tours, crazy merch profits, and strategic partnerships, she’s racked in millions, and her net worth is truly impressive.
As her manager, Scooter Braun, pointed out in a press release in 2017, her success in the beauty industry (and beyond) can all be traced back to « her authentic connection with her fans and to her evolution from artist to megastar and role model. » Read on to find out how much Ariana Grande is really worth.
Nickelodeon kicked off her career
When Victorious premiered on Nickelodeon in 2010, young audiences got their first glimpse of a then-unknown Grande playing Cat Valentine. For four seasons, she starred alongside Victoria Justice and portrayed an aspiring artist attending Hollywood Arts High School until the show ended in 2013.
A year later, TMZ unearthed the budding starlet’s first-ever entertainment contract and discovered that Miss Ari had been raking in serious money since her early teens. As the documents revealed, a 16-year-old Grande was making $9,000 per episode, and that’s just in the first season, which had 19 episodes. That’s $171,000 right there.
What’s more, TMZ learned that she was also getting paid extra for writing various tracks for the series, including $4,000 for its theme song, $3,000 for another piece that appeared in multiple episodes, and $1,500 for a 20-second piece. What’s more, while on Victorious, she also snagged a music contract that promised to pay her $50,000 for her debut album with the option of recording four more after that with increasing rates.
Her transition to music was instantly lucrative
Rather than mourning the end of Victorious in 2013, Grande focused on making a name for herself off the small screen, transitioning to the world of music with a debut record that was so successful it took people by surprise. When a 20-year-old Grande released Yours Truly in 2013, she went head to head with more established artists, such as Tamar Braxton and Nine Inch Nails, but she snagged the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart by a « sizable margin, » according to Billboard. By selling 138,000 copies during the first week, the actress-turned-songstress became the first female artist to snag the No.1 spot with a debut album since Kesha accomplished the same feat years earlier with 2010’s Animal.
According to Billboard, a big portion of Grande’s surprise success could be traced back to her management’s innovative download promo campaign, which promised fans who bought the album the week it was released a ticket to a surprise event featuring the singer herself. The promo was responsible for anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 purchases, according to unnamed sources. In the weeks that followed, Yours Truly proved to be a serious powerhouse as it went on to sell 596,000 copies (via Billboard) and snagged the young diva the New Artist of the Year trophy at the 2013 American Music Awards.
She once brought in $30K in one hour
Proving that she’s a real triple threat, Grande took the beauty world by storm in 2015 with the release of her inaugural fragrance, Ari by Ariana Grande. In fact, her perfume debut generated almost as much buzz as a record drop. Case in point: When she agreed to a meet-and-greet with fans at Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square, she earned a cool $30,000 in about an hour by selling 250 perfume sets at $119 a pop, as WWD confirmed.
And it wasn’t just a one-time fluke. When she unveiled her fourth perfume, Cloud, in 2018, it became her bestseller to date with experts forecasting sales of $50 million within one year (via WWD). According to Noreen Dodge, the chief marketing officer of Luxe Brands, which produces Grande’s fragrances, it’s all thanks to the singer’s smart marketing. « Ariana developed an exclusive preview of the fragrance for her fans available online with the download of her album. That’s Ariana bringing all worlds together, » she said, adding, « She uses her social influence, combining it with her music, to give her fans something special in advance of the fragrance launching in the market and further creating buzz about the brand. »
She’s made serious bank from perfume sales
These days, it seems like practically every celebrity under the sun has their own fragrance, which may leave you wondering how lucrative the perfume industry can really be, given as how there’s so much competition. As it turns out, the answer is very lucrative.
As Luxe Brands, the company that’s worked with Grande on her many fragrances, boasted in a press release in December 2017, the pop star managed to build a staggering perfume empire in just two years, reaching over $150 million in retail sales worldwide. To put things into perspective, as Refinery29 pointed out, that figure « beats the sales numbers of Kim Kardashian’s KKW Gardenia perfume launch fifteen times over. » Fifteen. Times.
According to Luxe Brands CEO Joel B. Ronkin, that’s just the beginning. « The Ariana Grande fragrance business continues to defy the trajectory of celebrity fragrances, » he proclaimed in the news release. « With Ariana’s undeniable status as an international superstar, the success of the Ariana Grande fragrance portfolio is certain to continue to reach new heights. »
The Dangerous Woman tour made a ton of dough
While 2016’s Dangerous Woman album may have only sold 396,000 copies — just a little more than half of My Everything, which clocked in at 735,000 copies — the tour that accompanied its release slayed. Big time. As reported by Billboard, Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour, which had stops in five continents and lasted seven months, grossed a staggering $71 million. Spread out over 75 dates, the tour saw more than 875,000 tickets sold with the biggest stop being Tokyo. While performing at Makuhari Messe, a convention center in the Japanese capital, the former Nickelodeon star was reportedly greeted by 52,000 fans over three nights and earned $6.5 million in ticket revenue.
Compare those numbers to 2015’s Honeymoon Tour, which ran for eight months and grossed just over $40 million, and you get a staggering 70 percent increase in sales from one tour to the next. Wowza.
Her tour merchandise is a major cash cow
In addition to bringing in millions from ticket sales, Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour made serious cash on merchandise. That’s right — all of those shirts, hoodies, bunny ears, and more that fans snapped up from city to city amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in revenue at every single show.
Breaking down the numbers, Pollstar (via Variety) found that Grande was selling an average of 10,600 tickets per night, which resulted in an average gross revenue of $630,000 per show, and — get this — that was complimented by over $50,000 worth of merch sales during each tour stop. Not surprising when you consider that an average tour sweatshirt costs around $55 and a basic T-shirt will set you back $35, while novelty items like a fanny pack and album retail for $45. With the two revenue streams combined, the young starlet pulled in an incredible $4.7 million per week.
She keeps signing high-profile partnerships
When she’s not putting out albums, making bank on tours and merch, or promoting her ever-growing family of perfumes, Grande has somehow found the time to take on partnership after partnership with various high-profile brands. In 2016, she designed a collection with UK-based brand Lipsy, which featured classic Grande-inspired pieces (think mini skirts and crop tops) that were made accessible to her young fans by costing between $9 and $96 (via Nylon).
In 2017, the pint-sized singer followed up with another lucrative fashion deal, signing a one-year partnership with Reebok, which saw her promoting various products on her social media accounts, as well as modeling on the brand’s official website. Speaking about the collab in an official statement (via WWD), Grande explained her decision to partner with the brand, gushing, « Like Reebok, I fiercely stand for those who express themselves, celebrate their individuality and push boundaries. I’m an advocate for people accepting themselves for who they are. »
She added, « Reebok’s message of enabling and encouraging self-belief and self-betterment is something I fundamentally live by. I’m honored to partner with a brand whose mission is to inspire people to be the best possible version of themselves. »
The release of Sweetener marked ‘a rare new peak’
In the summer of 2018, Grande treated fans to her fourth full-length album, Sweetener, and earned herself her third No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Officially released on Aug. 17, the record sold an impressive 231,000 « equivalent sales units » in its first week, as reported by Nielsen Music (via Billboard), which represented a major jump from her third record, 2016’s Dangerous Woman, which debuted at No. 2, selling just 175,000 units.
What’s more, Sweetener enjoyed 126.7 million streams in its first week, which solidified it as the « largest streaming week for a pop album by a woman » ever and put Grande in second place behind Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy (which moved 255,000 units in its debut week) as the biggest album released by a female artist in 2018.
As Billboard pointed out in a separate article, the album’s success was « a rare new peak for a late-’10s pop star » and was especially significant « because not many of her pop star peers are doing so alongside her. » The publication noted, « Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Timberlake are all coming off projects whose commercial returns were highly underwhelming compared to expectations. » But while Grande’s music industry peers « find themselves victim to changing tastes and trends, » she has found success.
She’s so rich, she makes people around her money
In 2018, Grande had reached such superstar status that her fame and money began bringing fame and money to those merely associated with her, including her former fiancé, comedian Pete Davidson. After Grande and Davidson announced their engagement, and even once they called it off, the Saturday Night Live star actually saw his earning potential rise. Dubbing it the « Ariana Grande Effect, » Forbes shone a spotlight on how Davidson went from playing small clubs and landing bit movie roles to opening for comedy greats like Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart. He even got bigger big-screen parts.
As an anonymous producer told the outlet, « This Ariana thing has raised his profile enough that he could get a good role in TV, » adding, « Don’t think leading man is necessarily his future. But there are people who legit see him as a nerd sex symbol because of Ariana. This is his moment. » Need proof? Davidson landed roles in three major Hollywood films after he got together with Grande, including What Men Want, starring Taraji P. Henson; Going Places, starring Susan Sarandon; and Big Time Adolescence, in which he scored a leading part.
She’s worth how much?!
By the time she turned 25 years old, Ariana Grande had solidified herself as a mega pop star and powerhouse brand ambassador, raking in millions with her various projects. Even before she became a household name, the teen star negotiated an impressive contract with Nickelodeon that paid her thousands for each episode of Victorious, and she’s only become a more successful businesswoman as she’s matured with her payday exploding after she transitioned into music. And don’t forget all of her various endorsement deals and money-making products that have added millions to her bank account.
Add up all that income, take into consideration employee wages, promotional costs, and so on, and you’re left with an impressive number. As of this writing, Grande is worth — wait for it — an estimated $50 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That’s a whole lot of moolah. Feel like sharing the wealth, Ari?