Young singer Ariana Grande has suffered a heartbreaking loss. On Tuesday, July 22, her grandfather passed away after a long bout with cancer. He was 90 years old. The performer had been flying back and forth between promotions for her upcoming album, My Everything, and her grandparent’s home in Florida, before eventually putting all of her upcoming appearances on pause to be with her family. With concerned fans sending her well wishes for weeks, she has been updating them about the situation at hand. On early Wednesday morning, the 21-year old shared the sad news with her followers.
“Thank you for your continuous love and last over the last few weeks,” she expressed on her Twitter account. “We did lose my favorite person to ever exist yesterday: my grandfather.”
She emotionally continued, “My heart hurts so much; it’s beyond broken.” In her sadness, however, she was able to find a bit of closure with losing him, expressing that she was able to “hold his hand” and watched him “find his peace.”
According to her tweets, her grandfather had been sick for some time. She ultimately hoped that he would pull his way through, but at the beginning of July, his condition seemed to be a lot more dire than she had anticipated. “I just want him to be comfortable,” she said. “[I’m] gonna try to put my selfishness aside through [all of] this.”
Although his health continued to fail, he continued to show support to both Ariana Grande and her brother, Frankie, who is currently competing on the reality series, Big Brother. According to her, Frankie promised to leave the competition if anything were to happen to their grandfather. In the strongest show of support he could provide, he told Ariana not to let Frankie quit before his time was actually over.
“[I] asked [him] last week if he wanted us to pull Frankie off of BB and he said, “No way! He’s gotta play the game, even though I don’t understand it.”
As per the rules of Big Brother, all contestants have no connection with the outside world, which includes phone calls or other forms of contact. The only time this edict was ignored was during September 11, when host Julie Chen informed members of the competition what was going on with the terrorist attacks. Ariana Grande has had no personal contact with Frankie whatsoever.
Just 24 hours following his passing, she bravely decided to resume her promotional duties for her upcoming album. According to her, it was all her grandfather’s doing. “The only reason I made this twelve-hour trip is [that he] told me he wanted me to always be professional and fulfill my business commitments,” she says.
She flew to New York City this morning to appear on Good Morning America. Along with Ryan Seacrest, she announced that she would be a part of this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival. She was able to keep a professional demeanor until host Robin Roberts shared her condolences on Ariana’s loss. Cameras turned away as she began to cry, but during the break, Roberts hugged the young starlet to comfort her.
Throughout the day, she has been sharing photos and memories of her beloved grandparent and she has once again thanked her fans for their immense show of support. “I’m so grateful that I got to spend time with him and my family,” she stated, while adding that she was grateful to all of her fans and followers “for the continuous love.” Our hearts and thoughts go out to Ariana Grande and her family at this very trying time.
Update (10:32 PM): At some point during Wednesday evening, Big Brother producers passed along a note from the Grande family to Frankie, which shared the news of his grandfather’s death. At the time of this posting, there was no word on who specifically wrote the note or why Big Brother producers decided to share “outside news” with any of the contestants.
By Jonathan Brown