Yours Truly is the debut studio album by American recording artist Ariana Grande. It was released on August 30, 2013 through Republic Records. Incorporating R&B, pop and soul, Yours Truly was influenced by Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey amongst other of Grande’s idols. Grande describes the album’s first half as a “throwback” to the R&B music of the 1990s, and the second half being “very unique and very special that I’ve sort of written” which is completely original. The album’s physical copy features a twelve-track standard edition, while the digital copy features the Spanglish version of “The Way” featuring J Balvin as a bonus track. On the album, Grande co-wrote five out of the thirteen tracks.
Grande called upon the likes of Harmony Samuels, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Patrick “J. Que” Smith and Leon Thomas III as well as others, to handle production for the album. Grande recorded a number of songs for the album over a three year period. Amongst those included are collaborations with Big Sean, Mika and Mac Miller, in addition to The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes, who features on the song “Almost is Never Enough” which was also included on the The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack. Occasionally, the album dips into other genres such as adult contemporary music and dance music.
Yours Truly was promoted with live renditions of the album’s songs during The Listening Sessions Tour. The album was preceded by the release of the lead single, “The Way”, featuring American rapper Mac Miller. It became a top-ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number nine. The second single, “Baby I”, was released a month before the album and peaked just outside the top-twenty of the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number twenty-one. The third and final single “Right There” featuring Big Sean was released on August 6, 2013 and peaked at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Upon its release, the album received acclaim from music critics, with much praise going to her vocals, compared to those of Mariah Carey, and her throwback to 1990s R&B music. Yours Truly debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 selling 138,000 copies in its opening week. Grande became the first female artist to have their debut record in the peak position since Animal by Kesha in January 2010, and the fifteenth female artist overall. Internationally, the album reached the top-ten position in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.