Frank James Michael Grande Marchione (born January 24, 1983), usually credited as Frankie Grande or Frankie J. Grande, is an American dancer, actor, singer, producer, television host, and YouTube personality. He is the older half-brother of singer and actress Ariana Grande.
He performed on Broadway as Franz in the musical Rock of Ages (2014–2015) and in Mamma Mia! (2007–2010) and has played roles Off-Broadway, in regional theatre productions and on tour. Grande has produced Broadway shows and both produced and appeared in cabaret acts, including his own one-man show. In 2012, Grande established a YouTube channel and has also been building a following on Twitter and Instagram. In 2014, he was a contestant on the US reality television series Big Brother 16.
Grande was a judge on the 2015 season of America's Best Dance Crew and hosted a TV special, Worst.Post.Ever: With Frankie Grande, about using social media. Since 2016, he he has co-hosted Style Code Live, a live Amazon fashion and shopping show that streams on weeknights, from which he took off time to compete on the UK reality show Celebrity Big Brother 18 in mid-2016. His philanthropic work includes co-founding the non-profit arts organization "Broadway in South Africa" and work for buildOn.
Early life and career
Frankie Grande was born in New York City, the son of Victor Marchione, a physician, and Joan Grande, chief executive officer of telephone and alarm system company Hose-McCann Communications. He grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and moved with his mother to Boca Raton, Florida, at age 10, where he later attended Pine Crest School. He began performing in musicals in the fifth grade. His half-sister is singer and actress Ariana Grande, and he has a half-brother, James Marchione. Grande is openly gay. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania in 2005, having triple-majored in biology, theatre and dance. He considered medical school but decided to take a year off to pursue theatre.
He began his professional performing career by 2007, when he appeared as Boots the Monkey in a national tour of Dora the Explorer Live! (Dora's Pirate Adventure) and in regional theatre productions, including the title role in George M!, Mike Costa in A Chorus Line and Lewis in Pippin, among others. Later in 2007, he joined the Broadway cast of the musical Mamma Mia!, in the ensemble and as understudy for Eddie, in which he performed for three years.
Grande has produced shows on and off Broadway, including Broadway productions of Hamlet (2009) starring Jude Law, La Bête (2010–2011) starring David Hyde Pierce, and Born Yesterday (2011) starring Jim Belushi. He also produced Brooke Shields' one-woman cabaret show in 2011. Grande has performed in cabaret acts in New York City, including at Birdland Jazz Club and 54 Below. Grande was named "Mr. Broadway" in the "Mr. Broadway 2007" charity benefit. In 2013, he starred as Bobby in a regional theatre production of the musical Crazy for You. He also presented his own show in New York, Livin' la Vida Grande, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.
In February 2014, Grande played Consuela Off-Broadway in a revival of the musical Pageant. In June of that year, he performed at DigiFest NYC. In mid-2014, Grande appeared on the US reality television series Big Brother 16. MTV called his 12 weeks on the show "controversial ... peppered with some powerful, outrageous, and downright impressive moments".
Grande returned to Broadway in November 2014 as Franz in the musical Rock of Ages for a two-month engagement. He appeared on Good Day New York and performed "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". The same month, he co-hosted the red carpet pre-show of the American Music Awards. In 2014, TV Guide called Grande one of "Our Favorite YouTube Stars". He was featured in a 2014 ABC Nightline segment about entertainers who use social media to boost their success. In 2015, Billboard included Grande in its list of "32 of the top social media stars on the Internet today." Writing in The New York Times in 2014, Michael Musto termed Grande "friskily ambitious". Another reporter called him "unabashedly enthusiastic about life." As of December 2016, Grande's social media presence had increased to more than 400,000 YouTube subscribers and 25 million views on YouTube, more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram and 1.1 million followers on Twitter.
In January 2015, Grande again performed his one-man cabaret show at 54 Below. In February, he appeared in a music video for Lance Bass and modeled for Malan Breton at New York Fashion Week. In March, Grande was an Entertainment Tonight interviewer at the 2015 Kids' Choice Awards. He also appeared in the documentary short film, "Malan Breton: A Journey to Taiwan", which won the 2015 New York City International Film Festival award for "Best Short Documentary". In June he appeared at DigiFest NYC, and the following month he served as a judge for the #JoeyShine Video Contest. Grande was a judge on the 2015 reality TV series America's Best Dance Crew All-Stars: Road to the VMAs, on MTV in 2015. He hosted a TV special on the Oxygen channel in August 2015 called Worst.Post.Ever: With Frankie Grande about social media faux pas. The following month, he made a guest appearance on Big Brother 17. He co-hosted the red carpet pre-show of the American Music Awards again in 2015. Throughout the year, he also regularly performed a number in his sister's The Honeymoon Tour. Grande was nominated for a 2016 People's Choice Award.
Grande revived his autobiographical one-man show, Livin' La Vida Grande, in Los Angeles in January 2016. The same month, he and his sister launched a unisex fragrance named "Frankie by Ariana Grande". Since March 2016, Grande has co-hosted Amazon.com's first live show, Style Code Live (SCL), which covers celebrity trends as well as fashion and beauty news and tips. The show also allows viewers to shop for the items discussed and to ask questions interactively. It streams live each weeknight. A review in The Washington Post called the show "something of a mash-up between QVC and E! News". Grande performed his cabaret act, Livin' la Vida Grande, at The Box in New York City over a weekend in June 2016. He was also a guest panelist on Logo TV's Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul in a 2016 episode. In July and August, Grande appeared on the UK reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother 18, finishing in 6th place. He recorded a segment on fashions in the Celebrity Big Brother house for SCL, and returned to co-hosting SCL full-time in September. He continues to host SCL in 2017. Together with Olivia Culpo, Grande critiqued the Golden Globe Awards fashions on The Today Show in January 2017. He is expected to appear in a new role on Nickelodeon's series Henry Danger.
In 2007, Grande co-founded the non-profit arts organization "Broadway in South Africa", travelling to South Africa to teach performance arts to disadvantaged youth for seven years, before the charity merged with buildOn. In 2013, Grande helped buildOn to build a school in a rural village in Malawi, in southeastern Africa, and in 2014 buildOn honored him for his efforts with its Global Impact Award. Grande is an anti-smoking advocate. Grande donated the money that he won on Big Brother 16 (from the "Team America" twist he was apart of) to buildOn, to build another school in Africa. In January 2015, he returned to Malawi to help begin construction of the school, named in memory of his grandfather. Grande raised additional money for buildOn, to fund the school, eventually surpassing his goal of $70,000. Grande participated in a 2016 fire prevention public service announcement called 2steps2minutes and the annual Broadway Bares show to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
|2015||Malan Breton a Journey to Taiwan||Himself||Documentary|
|2014||Big Brother 16||Himself – Houseguest||Finished 5th out of 16.|
|2014||American Music Award||Himself|
|2015||2015 Kids' Choice Awards||Himself – Interviewer for ET|
|2015||Good Morning America||Himself – Guest||Episode: August 17, 2015|
|2015||Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew||Himself – Judge|
|2015||Worst.Post.Ever: With Frankie Grande (Oxygen)||Host|
|2015||American Music Awards of 2015||Himself|
|2016||Style Code Live (Amazon)||Himself – Co-host||Daily episodes|
|2016||Celebrity Big Brother 18||Himself – Housemate||Finished 6th out of 15.|