Hilltop Views

Ariana Grande says ‘thank u, next’ to past lovers, embraces self-worth

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The single is a preview to Grande's fifth album.

The single is a preview to Grande's fifth album.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

The single is a preview to Grande's fifth album.

Elizabeth Ucles, Life and Arts Editor

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The self-love, bounce-back bop we didn’t know we needed dropped this weekend by the pop queen herself, Ariana Grande.

Grande released the single “thank u, next” on Saturday night and it is readily available on popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The track released just 30 minutes before the start of “Saturday Night Live,” where Grande’s recent ex-fiance, Pete Davidson was set to perform.

Grande name dropped Davidson in “thank u, next” among other of her exes like rapper Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez and the late Mac Miller who tragically passed away from an alleged drug overdose in September.

“Thought I’d end up with Sean, but he wasn’t a match. Wrote some songs about Ricky, now I listen and laugh. Even almost got married, and for Pete, I’m so thankful. Wish I could say, ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm, ‘cause he was an angel.”

Instead of using their names for a typical breakup song, Grande thanks her past relationships for teaching her “love,” “patience” and “pain” and helping in her journey of self-love and self-reliance.

In the last year or so, the pop singer faced the end of an engagement, the death of an ex-boyfriend of just under two years along with an act of terrorism in May 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom, where a suicide bomber killed 23 people and injured 139 others at a concert on Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” tour.

While Grande faced a year of mourning and heartbreak, the latest single pushes messages of strength for moving into the future. One of the most valuable messages in the upbeat pop track centers around Grande’s love for herself.

“Plus, I met someone else. We havin’ better discussions. I know they say I move on too fast. But this one gon’ last, ’cause her name is Ari, and I’m so good with that.”

What Grande learned from herself mirrors what her exes taught her of love and patience, but in the next verse, she adds “how she handles pain, that sh*t’s amazing.”

It’s clear that Grande found love in her heart amidst pain and solitude, and it’s a powerful meaning for listeners experiencing similar strife. Grande could have released a track expressing her understandable grief– and she very well might in her next album. But it’s noteworthy that her first single out the gate from such a desolate year looks towards growth and forgiveness, or as Grande says on her Twitter account: “no drags… no shade….. jus, love, gratitude, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness … and growth.”

The track’s flow admittedly isn’t super dynamic; the beat is steady and Grande isn’t necessarily trying to show off her singing chops. But that isn’t the point of the single. The message and timing make up for what it lacks.  

“thank, u next,” is building the anticipation for Grande’s fifth studio album, which she confirmed on her Twitter will share the name of the single. Grande also confirmed that the single will be the album’s last song, and the album will have no collaborations. While the album-release date is still up in the air, the follow to “Sweetener” is bound to mark a new chapter in Grande’s career.

About the Writer
Elizabeth Ucles, Life and Arts Section Editor

I am Elizabeth Ucles— Writing and Rhetoric (Journalism concentration) major, Spanish minor and Life & Arts co-Editor of Hilltop Views.  This is...

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Ariana Grande says ‘thank u, next’ to past lovers, embraces self-worth