Ariana Grande saw how hard her fans were working to vote her Kohl’s New Artist Of The Year at the 2013 American Music Awards. Still, the 20 year-old did not prepare an acceptance speech.
“My mom wrote it down for me,” Grande revealed of the list she pulled out on stage with names of people to thank. “She was like, ‘Just so you don’t forget anything,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
Grande rushed through the names in seconds. The Nickelodeon star told me afterwards that if she could have added anyone to her on camera thank you list, it would have been her grandparents in Florida.
The entire evening seemed to overwhelm Grande, which also included a rousing performance of her single, “The Way” along with “Tattooed Heart.” Both appear on Grande’s debut studio album, Yours Truly. The artist earned a standing ovation from the likes of superstars like Lady Gaga after she finished singing.
“I can’t see anything. I have really bad eye sight,” Grande told me when I asked if she could make out celebrities’ faces in the crowd from on stage. “For some reason I can’t learn how to put in contacts, and I’m not going to go on stage in glasses.”
So, just as I had witnessed moments earlier, Grande simply powers through. By the time she reached our one-on-one room backstage at the AMAs, the singer was literally hobbled. She later told me that she felt like she was going to pass out. A whole pineapple, tofu, and a soy latte later – and Grande was back to her normal self, barely able to contain her excitement as she spoke about an evening she won’t soon forget.