Prepare for your heart to go knock knock after this wild trip down memory lane! Can you even remember a time when the name Ariana Grande was synonymous with flaming red hair — not to mention randomly belting a Justin Bieber song on command? Yes, this was pre-becoming ~the~ pint-sized Dangerous Woman with that high AF ponytail you can spot anywhere. Back in 2010, the starlet hadn't yet released any solo music and was simply known for being a Nickelodeon actress. In this old video we uncovered from the J-14 archives, Ari plays a "karaoke" style game where she has to blindly choose a card from a bag and just start singing. She ended up getting "One Time," the unforgettable debut single from the Bieb. Watch the video above to see Ariana covering Justin's song.
OK, now girl is literally so young, pure, and innocent here, clearly not yet the superstar she is today. AND THAT HAIR THO. The things she did to please the Nick gods, like fry her naturally dark brown locks into this Little Mermaid hue in order to play Cat Valentine. Weird. But seriously, can you even imagine Ariana casually sitting around singing a JB song like that today? Well, at least not without Bieber by her side. See, these two actually have a bit of history that all came about after she played this karaoke game. Ariana went on to work with Scooter Braun and hired him as her manager. You know Scoot as the man who discovered Justin and has been instrumental in the "Sorry" singer's career. So naturally, when Ariana was up and coming, Scooter latched her onto Justin, having Ari serve as his opening act on one of his tours.
And then in 2013, there was the kissing pic no one could miss. Justin literally asked Ariana to upload a mysterious photo of the pair on Twitter and he just so happened to be giving her a kiss on the cheek. Cue fandoms freaking out everywhere.
@justinbieber you're crazy and nonna says thank you, she loves you pic.twitter.com/C5DthoPIXl
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 8, 2013
Yes, we all know Selena Gomez is the one who truly captured Justin's heart, but it seems like the fans — and probably Scooter TBH — wanted the world to start shipping this pair, at least in those early Ariana days. She did explain the story behind that kiss pic eventually though, making it clear that after she pulled out her phone to snap a pic, JB just smooched her cheek. And no, it wasn't a moment she was rushing to post to her millions of followers.
"I just was smiling and he kissed me on the cheek! And I didn't know what to do. I just walked out of the room," Ariana said to MTV. "I got shy. And then Scooter came after to me and said, 'Justin says you have to post that picture.' And I said, 'I will not.' I don't want the drama that comes with it."
Well, she posted the selfie anyway and since then, Ariana and Justin have remained close. They went ahead and did a duet together, a remix of Justin's comeback single that even had Kanye West up and dancing to "What Do You Mean" in 2015. Justin was also one of the celebs on hand at her One Love Manchester benefit concert organized in 2017 in the wake of a terrorist bombing that happened at one of her concerts. While there might've been a bit of showmance here for a minute that literally no one was buying, Ariana and Justin have started friends and we like to think all of this began with this karaoke video eight years ago. Yes, we're going with that theory.
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