“I’m most excited to see Ariana Grande perform. Not a lot of my fans know this. I kind of keep it a secret, but I am one of Ariana Grande’s biggest fans,” said Grace VanderWaal when interviewed by Billboard on the red carpet for the 2018 Billboard Music Awards (watch above). VanderWaal presented at the event alongside Grammy nominated singer Julia Michaels, but she was “scared” about potentially meeting her idol. She explained, “I want to meet her, but I don’t because I know I’m going to cry.”
In 2016, when she was only 12-years-old, VanderWaal won season 11 of the NBC reality competition series “America’s Got Talent.” Shortly after her victory she released her first EP, “Perfectly Imperfect,” and then in November 2017 she dropped her full-length debut album, “Just the Beginning.” She wrote or co-wrote all the songs on both albums, and she’s still only just 14.
So will we be seeing VanderWaal back at the Billboard Awards in the future as a nominee instead of just as a presenter? “Perfectly Imperfect” was a top-10 hit on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and “Just the Beginning” debuted at number-22, so she’s off to a promising start.
Next up VanderWaal is embarking on another career milestone: she’s going on tour with Imagine Dragons this summer as the opening act at 40 of their shows. “I’m most looking forward to knowing what it’s like to perform for arenas,” she says about the opportunity. “I’ve only ever performed for venues, so this will be super new for me and I’m really excited.”