Before they were major Hollywood stars, some celebrities got their start on Broadway.

Ariana Grande, for one, played the role of Charlotte in the musical 13 in 2008 before her Nickelodeon days.

“I grew up singing theater so of course that’s where my heart is,” the “Thank U, Next” musician said on an October 2021 episode of the “Backstage Pass With Eric Vetro” podcast. “I wish I got to do more of it. I wish I could go be on Broadway. I wish I could go sing more musical songs. That’s the easiest, most fun, most soaring, freeing, beautiful feeling ever, is singing showtunes. That, to me, is my heaven.”

The actress continued to gush over “theater music,” noting that it gives her “so much joy.”

“Theater babies, it’s just a different kind of nostalgia” Ariana continued. “Listening to musical theater is a different kind of fulfilling car ride. If you throw on some Avenue Q or Wicked in the car, you’re just guaranteed to feel comforted.”

While she’s not going back to her Broadway roots any time soon, Ariana nabbed role of Glinda in the upcoming film version of Wicked. In November 2021, it was announced that the Victorious alum would take on the coveted role when the musical movie hits theaters. The musical tells “untold true story of the witches of Oz,” and the role of Glinda was originated by Kristin Chenoweth.

“She’s my little nugget. I love her so much,” the Four Christmases star told Us Weekly in June 2020, saying she first met Ariana after she saw Wicked on Broadway with her family. “Her Nana and mom brought her backstage and she goes, ‘I want to be you when I grow up.’ And I was like, you’re so little … she came up to my waist. … And then we stayed in touch.”

Ariana isn’t the only star with a Broadway past that led to major roles. Before Sadie Sink was Max in Stranger Things or even friends with Taylor Swift (thanks to her role in the “All Too Well” short film), the actress played the roles of Annie and Duffy in Annie on Broadway and Young Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.

“Being on that stage every night, I fell in love,” Sadie told Teen Vogue in July 2019 of her Broadway days. “I knew that this was the direction I wanted to go with my career.”

Scroll through our gallery to see which other stars got their start on the stage. 

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