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Atlantic Records may be one of America’s biggest and most successful record labels, but that doesn’t mean it always gets it right when it comes to deciding which artists to work with.
In a Twitter Q&A under the hashtag #WorkingatAtlantic, Atlantic Records president Pete Ganbarg revealed that the biggest mistake the label made was passing on Ariana Grande when she was still a budding pop star.
“If there is one, which artist for you is the one that got away?”Atlantic Records was asked.
2. If there is one, which artist for you is the one that got away?— Atlantic Records (@AtlanticRecords) October 3, 2019
WE MET WITH ARIANA GRANDE WHEN SHE WAS VERY YOUNG. HER TALENT WAS OBVIOUS BUT, AS SHE WAS COMING OFF BROADWAY AND TV, WE WEREN'T SURE...
“We met with Ariana Grande when she was very young, her talent was obvious but, as she was coming off broadway and TV, we weren’t sure how that would eventually be maximized for a broader audience. We got that one wrong,” Ganbarg responded.
(cont'd) HOW THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BE MAXIMIZED FOR A BROADER AUDIENCE. WE GOT THAT ONE WRONG. pic.twitter.com/j4zp2oPVcN— Atlantic Records (@AtlanticRecords) October 3, 2019
Despite being passed up by Atlantic Records, Grande–who started her career on the Broadway musical 13 and then became a star on Nickelodeon’s Victorious–signed with Republic Records in 2011 and went on to become a mega success. Her award-winning albums and singles have since topped Billboard’s music lists, earning her a Grammy Award, one Brit Award, two Billboard Music Awards, and three American Music Awards. The pop star’s five albums have also all went platinum, amassing billions of streams worldwide. Grande has also been celebrated as one of Time’s 200 most influential people in the world and ranked amongst Forbes’s highest-paid celebrities list.
“You lost the queen of pop,” Twitter user @ZabraxAriana responded to the revelation.
YOU LOST THE QUEEN OF POP.— Zabra ♂️ (@ZabraxAriana) October 4, 2019
Another user captured what should be Atlantic Records’ entire mood over losing out on Grande by responding with a series of clown emojis.
Arianators are definitely pleased the singer said “thank you, next” to label and found a home that has always appreciated her talent.
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.