July 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Ariana Grande joins ‘Hairspray Live!’ cast
Ariana Grande, gay news, Washington Blade

Ariana Grande (Photo by Melissa Rose; courtesy Flickr)

Singer Ariana Grande is the latest performer to join the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!.”

Grande announced the news she will play Penny Pingleton, Tracy Turnblad’s best friend, on her Twitter on Wednesday.

“Penny has been a dream role since Hairspray opened on Broadway. At 9, I was (and still am) in LOVE w @KerryButlerNyc. hope to make u proud,” Grande tweeted.

Leslie Ann Powers and Amanda Bynes played Penny in the 1988 and 2007 films, respectively.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to round out our all-star ‘Hairspray Live!’ cast with Ariana Grande, one of the biggest recording artists in the world,” Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment Chairman, said in a statement. “She’s also a Broadway baby at heart, having debuted on Broadway when she was 15, and will be fantastic in the delightful role of Penny Pingleton. We look forward to her millions of fans seeing yet another side to this multifaceted performer and we welcome her to this incredible ensemble of artists.”

Grande will star alongside newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle and Derek Hough as Corny Collins.

“Hairspray Live!” is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

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