"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," the "Problem" singer tells PEOPLE
Ariana Grande is famous for singing about having “one less problem,” but battling reports that she is a diva unfortunately continues to be one.
Over the years – and especially after her music career rocketed to new heights this year – the 21-year-old star has faced multiple incidents that painted her in a less than pleasing light. So what is fact versus fiction?
Sam & Cat Controversy
Grande came to be known and loved by Nickelodeon fans as the quirky, red-headed best friend on Victorious, but she saw the dark side of fame after her spin-off series Sam & Cat was cancelled earlier this year. With her hit single “The Way” climbing the charts, her growing fame made Grande a quick target for blame.
Grande’s Sam & Cat costar Jennette McCurdy added fuel to the fire by posting a rant – which fans believed was entirely about Grande – on her TwitLonger page just before the show was officially cancelled.
Grande has never publicly addressed the reported feud, but she did address the challenges she had with dealing with such speculation.
“It’s tough to spend some of the most important years of your life in front of so many strangers who want to pick you apart,” she said in the September issue of Seventeen. “Insecurity has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome. I think everyone my age struggles with that because everyone strives for approval and wants to feel loved.”
Photo Shoot Drama
By the time Grande released her second single, “Problem,” the singer’s list of press and promotional obligations grew – as did the rumors of demands she reportedly made at a photo shoot in Australia earlier this year.
Among the reported list of demands: a series of banned interview topics and a mandate that Grande be shot only from her left side. But all of these rules were for naught after Grande left the location mid-shoot, according to multiple reports.
But Grande remembers that day differently.
“It was just a photographer or something who got mad at me because I left to change my outfit mid-photo shoot because I didn’t like my top and I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll be right back’. And then I came back and he had left and I was like ‘Oh s—.’ He’s … said all these ridiculous untrue things about me and I’m just like, you know what, that’s not real. That’s nonsense,” Grande said on the Australian radio show Mike E & Emma. “My fans know who I am, my family knows who I am, my friends know who I am and that’s all that matters.”
She also addressed the potential double standard women can be faced with.
“If you see a woman working hard who is successful – who doesn’t stop until she reaches her goal, who is strong and has wishes and dreams she wants to fulfil, and works hard every day – you label them a diva,” she said in October, according to The Mirror.
“But if you see a man doing that, you’re like, ‘He’s incredible, he s an amazing businessman’.
Facing Her Critics
Despite the constant churn of the rumor mill, Grande stands by her decisions and is learning to turn a blind eye to the gossip.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” she told PEOPLE in August. “If you are going to be an unnecessary b—-, then that’s one thing, but if you’re going to have an opinion that’s another. But still I don’t really feel like [the negativity] deserves my attention or my passion or my energy.”