Gloria Estefan encouraged Ariana Grande to pursue music

Ariana Grande was told to never give up on singing by Latin superstar Gloria Estefan when she was a child.

The Problem singer had a chance meeting with Gloria when she was on vacation with her family onboard a cruise ship, and Gloria overheard her singing Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Gone On on karaoke and the veteran singer encouraged her to pursue a music career.

“I was on vacation with my family and I was doing karaoke and it was a terrible song choice,” she tells U.K. host Alan Carr. “We were on a cruise and I decided to sing My Heart Will Go On from Titanic. Really dark choice, but I was only six or seven so I didn’t know what I was doing.

“After I was done somebody came up to me and was like, ‘Gloria Estefan would like to speak to you’. I was like, ‘are you serious?’ and my brother was like, ‘Are you f**king serious?’ and we went together to go say hi to her. She was like, ‘I just want to let you know that you are so talented and do not ever give up’. It was crazy.”

Ariana, who admits Gloria “kind of” discovered her, first found fame as an actress on Nickelodeon shows Victorious and Sam & Cat. She finally went back to her music roots with her debut album Yours Truly in 2013. She is already gearing up to release her third album Dangerous Woman in May (16).

Gloria told the New York Daily News in 2014 that she had been following Ariana’s career for a long time and would have loved for the singer/actress to portray her in biographical Broadway musical On Your Feet!

Recalling the karaoke moment, Gloria said, “I literally went up to her and told her and her mom, ‘I don’t know if you plan on doing this, but this is what you need to be doing because you are an amazing singer.'”

Ariana’s full interview on Alan Carr: Chatty Man airs in the U.K. on Thursday evening (31Mar16).