For Ariana Grande, Hairspray Live is a return to her roots. The Grammy-nominated singer got her start on Broadway and she's returning to live musicals as Penny Pingleton in NBC's live musical airing Wednesday, Dec. 7.

"Coming from theater, that's what we feed off. We love that," Grande told E! News about the live energy in an interview with Hairspray Live costar Kristin Chenoweth by her side.

"That's home," Chenoweth.

But this time they're only going live just once, and the one-time only nature brings emotion to the project, Grande said. "We love it, it's exciting," she said.

Hairspray Live!


The two go live alongside Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Garrett Clayton, Dove Cameron, Derek Hough, Harvey Fierstein and Maddie Baillio in the telecast of the popular musical.  Hairspray is set in 1960s Baltimore and deals heavily with both race relations and body image. It seems like this is the perfect time for the Hairspray Live to grace TVs, especially with Grande and Hudson's duet on "Come so Far (Got so Far to Go)."

"The message in the song is exactly what we need right now," Grande said. "Because the hook says, 'We've come so far, but we've got so far to go,' which is exactly where we're at right now. It's exactly why we're supposed to be doing this show right now, cosmically. The world needs to hear it in a fun musical way, it's a message that we need to get out there."

Chenoweth agreed. "She just said it perfectly. That's it. The message of love, unity through music," she said. "And that's why I think musical theater transforms lives. And people in Oklahoma, where I'm from, who can't afford to come will get to see it."

"It's just the most beautiful thing ever," Grande said.

Hairspray Live airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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