Gather ’round, pop fans and ponytail enthusiasts alike, for today is Ariana Grande’s 21st birthday! You know what that means, right? Yep, it looks like she’ll have one less problem getting into the club to celebrate tonight. (And absolutely no problem getting into Disney World.)
But just because the “Break Free” singer is now one year closer to being a Real Adult™ — pretty sure that doesn’t officially happen until you’ve had, like, your seventh in-store IKEA meltdown or something — that doesn’t mean that she’s not still the adorable Ariana we know and love. She’s been perfectly, preciously guh-dorably cute since day one, so why would she stop now?
1.) I mean, LOOK AT THIS LITERAL BABY FACE.
2.) Even as a toddler, Ariana — seen here with brother Frankie — was waving at at least a fifth-grade level.
3.) Wait, could this possibly be Ariana’s first gravity-defying ponytail?
4.) The real star of this mommy-and-me moment is the pony on her cheek. (Sorry, Joan.)
5.) O say can you handle this video of Ariana singing the national anthem at age 8? Doubt it.
6.) In 2008, Ariana got cast in the Broadway musical “13.” Why? ’Cause the people wanted to see those adorable dimples on THE GREAT WHITE WAY!
7.) Then in 2010, she made quite the “Victorious” transition onto Nickelodeon.
8.) What followed was some cuteness at the 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards…
9.) Some cuteness at the 2011 Kids’ Choice Awards…
10.) And total adorableness at Nick’s 2011 Worldwide Day Of Play. (Sensing a throughline here?)
11.) Even if Ariana’s not the biggest fan of debut single “Put Your Hearts Up,” you’ve gotta admit: It’s pretty adorable.
12.) ADMIT IT.
13.) The “Victorious”-turned-“Sam & Cat” star just has a natural gift for being adorable.
14.) Oh, and for being monstrously talented. Remember the vocal slayage that was her “Baby I”/”The Way” performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards? Baby I… CAAAAAAAAN’T
16.) Even covered in blood for Halloween (I hope????), Ari’s adorable essence shines through.
17.) You too, Katy Perry? STAHP.
18.) Even Big Sean — seen here performing “Right There” at Wango Tango — can’t deny it. BECAUSE NO ONE CAN!
19.) Though considerably more grown-up, the mod-inspired “Problem” video’s basically retro cuteness 101.
21.) Then she kissed Mickey? PEAK ADORABLE. MIC DROP!
Don’t miss Ariana’s adorableness in action on Total Ariana Live,” hosted by MTV News’ Sway Calloway with a live performance by Ariana on Wednesday, July 2, at 7p ET only on MTV!