Breaking Down the ‘Wicked’-ly Good Casting of Ariana Grande & Cynthia Erivo in New Movie Musical

Almost a decade ago, in December 2011, Ariana Grande tweeted that she had just seen the Broadway musical Wicked again and it “made me realize how badly I want 2 play Glinda at some point in my life! #DreamRole,” the then-18-year-old wrote.

Well, Grande’s dream has been realized. On Thursday, the pop star announced that she’ll be playing Glinda the Good Witch — the role made famous by Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway — in a movie adaptation of the blockbuster musical Wicked, with Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, originally played by Idina Menzel.

On the latest episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, Katie & Keith discuss the wickedly good casting and raise some burning questions. Will we get cameos from Idina and Kristin, the original witches from the Land of Oz? Could Ariana or Cynthia earn Oscar nominations for acting and potentially songwriting? Can you even imagine how bombastic this movie soundtrack is going to be?

To hear the full discussion, listen below:

Also on the show, we’ve got chart news on how Ed Sheeran’s new album = debuts atop the Billboard 200, how Adele’s “Easy on Me” stays firm at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a third straight week, and how Glass Animals’ slow-burning hit “Heat Waves” breaks the record for the longest climb to the top 10 on the Hot 100. Plus, we have the latest news on Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival turning deadly over the weekend, with at least eight deaths and hundreds more concertgoers injured.

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard’s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard’s executive digital director, West Coast, Katie Atkinson and senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on

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