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Broadway / Music

Ariana Grande Already Sampled ‘Wicked’ in 1 of Her Songs

Ariana Grande and another pop star sampled one of the most famous songs from the Broadway smash 'Wicked' for a duet. The duet was supposed to subvert elements of the original song from 'Wicked.' Broadway's Stephen Schwartz loved the new song. The duet became a minor hit.

Broadway fans will be able to see Ariana Grande sing many famous songs in the film version of the musical Wicked. Interestingly, one of Grande’s hits samples one of the most famous songs from Wicked. During an interview, the famous writer of the song explained how Grande’s track came together.

Elphaba and Glinda on a billboard promoting 'Wicked'
A billboard promoting ‘Wicked’ | George Rose/Getty Images

Ariana Grande and another famous artist sampled a song from ‘Wicked’ together

Grande has collaborated with numerous famous artists over the years. Nicki Minaj, Zedd, Jessie J, Meghan Trainor, and Lady Gaga have all made appearances on Grande songs. She’s also worked with Mika, the singer-songwriter behind tracks like “Grace Kelly” and “Love Today.”

Grande combined her Broadway roots with her penchant for collaborations by lending her vocals to “Popular Song” by Mika. The track samples “Popular” from Wicked. Interestingly, “Popular Song” is supposed to subvert elements of “Popular.”

Why Mika decided to sample a song from ‘Wicked’ that had ‘mean’ lyrics

During an interview with HuffPost, Mika explained why he created “Popular Song.” “I went to see [Wicked], and I thought, ‘Glinda’s actually being mean,'” Mika said. “So I thought it would be nice to take the song and write my own version of it because I don’t like what she was saying in that part of the show.”

Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Wicked and several Disney films, had a strong reaction to “Popular Song.” “So I thought … instead of getting the popular girl to sing it, just get the loser to sing it,” Mika said. “Then Stephen Schwartz came over to my house in London, and I played it for him and explained why I did it. And he heard it and he freaked out — he adored it instantly.”

In an interview with The Advocate, Mika said he wrote “Popular Song” with singer Priscilla Renea as a form of revenge. “We had an amazing run that one day, and it was actually the first day we decided to work together,” he said. “And we were joking about how most people who now make pop music so often weren’t themselves very popular in school. Our desire to write pop music is as much a form of vengeance as it is an escape plan.”

“Popular Song” became a minor hit for Grande and Mika. The track reached No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for two weeks. Its parent album, Yours Truly, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 53 weeks.


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“Popular Song” wasn’t as successful in the United Kingdom as it was in the United States. The Official Charts Company reports the track did not chart in the U.K. Meanwhile, Yours Truly peaked at No. 7 in the U.K. and lasted on the chart for four weeks. While “Popular Song” isn’t one of Grande’s most popular songs, it has a notable connection to Wicked.