Marie Ruffalo is not only my kind and loving Mom, she is also a talented artist. She has been inspired by every aspect of her unusual life, the ups and downs, joys, tears, and fears. She has been doing her art since I was a boy, mostly for her own satisfaction and peace of mind. After much nudging by me and by my step Father, Jerry, she is finally willing to show it to the public. It’s a very difficult thing to do and I commend her for it. Take a look. https://www.marieroseruffalo.com/

Ariana on Marie Claire

On early ambitions: ”I was 14 years old and ready to make an R&B album. I was like, ‘Where is that Mary J. Blige collab? Where is that Natasha Bedingfield writing session? Where is my session with India.Arie? I’m ready. Let’s go.’ I wrote this song called ’Higher,’ and the lyrics were too sexual, too mature. And my mom was like, ’This is a great song, but damn, you’re too young for this.’”

On hiding behind her Nickelodeon character: ”People liked her and they accepted her and they thought that I was like her. So I used to pretend to be a little more like her than I actually was.” 

On her first single, ”Put Your Hearts Up,” tanking: "I was like, ’Guys, there has to be a really distinct difference between me and my character.’ And we did that with ’The Way.’ I dyed my hair back to brown. I made out with a rapper in the video. I made the point I wanted to make. And I was excited to do so after so many years of pretending to be somebody else in front of a lot of people." 

On growing up in a Italian family: ”My grandparents were always playing cards or cooking or cursing about something, and my dad would be singing terrible, terrible Frank Sinatra karaoke, and I would always wear Halloween makeup or masks or costumes around the house.”

On being vegan: ”Coming from a strict Italian family, they thought nutrients were red meat and pasta. It was like, ’We’ve got a big day tomorrow. Be sure to have the prosciutto before you go to bed.’ It’s a commitment that I’m 100 percent dedicated to because a) of my love for animals, and b) I’m obsessed with my health because my family has a terrible history with cancer.”

On her first car accident: ”I was driving to Big Sean’s house on those windy hills in L.A. It was my first time going up those hills so I was going like 12 miles per hour. This lady was whipping around the corner, and I came to a complete stop so she bumped me really hard — the whole front of my Range Rover was wrecked. She jumped out and was like, ‘Sweetie, it’s okay, it’s totally fine. What do you do?’ I was like, ’I’m a singer.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, I think I broke my leg.’ And I was like, ’I mean, I make jewelry.’” 

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