Ariana Grande is going to great lengths to fix her image following a recent scandal, dubbed "donut-gate" by the media. The 22-year-old singer was recently caught on surveillance video licking doughnuts sitting out on a store counter before telling boyfriend and backup dancer Ricky Alvarez, "I hate Americans. I hate America."
According to E! News, the "Break Free" singer took the stage in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday after performing several shows in Europe. While on stage the former Nickelodeon star reportedly told the audience she was "grateful" to be there and shared with them her love for her country. A fan captured the moment on video and it quickly began making the rounds on the Internet.
"I'm so, so grateful to be performing here in the USA, the greatest country in the world!" Ariana told her fans. Watch the video below:
As previously reported, Ariana faced some serious backlash from donut-gate. Shortly after the incident, which occurred over Fourth of July weekend, she was cut as the performer for the MLB All-Star concert. Tweets from the MLB's communications Twitter claim she pulled out "as a result of health issues," though many believed it was directly linked to the incident. Pop star Demi Lovato quickly stepped in as her replacement. It was widely reported that the singer threw shade at the fellow musician by performing "Made in the USA" during the concert, however, she has vehemently denied those claims.
Ariana issued an apology shortly after the controversial video hit the Web. She told BuzzFeed News she was "EXTREMELY proud to be an American" and her comments were "taken out of context." She went on to say she was "an advocate for healthy eating" and was simply commenting on the tendency of American people to eat unhealthy foods "without giving any thought to the consequences." As you can imagine, many were not happy with this apology. According to Us Weekly, she later issued a second apology, this time in video format, acknowledging the lack of sincerity in her first apology and assuring fans that she has "never been prouder to be American."