Nov. 3 is a very exciting day for Ariana Grande fans. Nov. 3, 2018 was the day that the world was introduced to the iconic song, “Thank U, Next.” In celebration of the recent anniversary, VALLEY is taking a look back at the album as a whole, why it was created and why we love Ariana as much as we do.
Let’s be real, the album is titled after the most iconic track on it: “Thank U, Next.” When the song dropped, I think it’s safe to say that all of us were shook. Grande did not hold back on this song and made sure to call out each of her ex-boyfriends (or at least the ones worth mentioning) all in the first 30 seconds of the bop. This was an extremely risky move, but it needed to be done by someone, and who better than Ari G? Needless to say, we applaud her.
Ariana’s total savagery shows throughout a good portion of the album, with songs like “In My Head” and “7 Rings,” but she is also incredibly vulnerable in a few of her tracks. Letting her emotions show is not something that is easy for Grande to do. In fact, Grande refused to perform “Ghostin,” one of the more emotional songs from her album, on the “Sweetner” tour, as she made it clear that it was too difficult for her to sing.
“Ghostin” is about Grande suffering over the loss of Mac Miller while dating her ex-boyfriend, Pete Davidson. When a fan asked on Twitter if Grande would be performing the song live, Ariana said that if she could get through it then she would, but for the time being it wouldn’t be on the setlist. The song was never performed.
Grande has also become a very big advocate for mental health. In a 2018 interview with Elle, Grande revealed how her anxiety grew to become more intense in the past two years:
When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe,” says Grande. “I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.
In the Elle interview, Joan Grande, Ariana’s mother, told the magazine that Ariana barely spoke for nearly two days after the Manchester bombing.
It was two or three in the morning,” says Joan Grande. “She crawled into bed and said, ‘Mom, let’s be honest, I’m never not going to sing again. But I’m not going to sing again until I sing in Manchester first.’
With the help of Ariana’s manager Scooter Braun, the three organized a benefit concert in Manchester that raised over $23 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
“She loves a bit more fearlessly than she did before,” Joan Grande told Elle.
Aside from her incredible music and flawless voice, here’s what makes Ariana Grande so special.
In the last two years, we have watched her face a horrific terrorist attack overseas, cried with her when she grieved the death of a person she loved most and stood by her when she she ended her engagement to SNL comedian Pete Davison. Yet, through all of these traumatic events, Grande has kept her head held high, demonstrated nothing but grace and given back positivity to the world. Regardless of what your opinion of her may be, she teaches us all a very valuable lesson — there is always a light in the darkness, you just have to find it.
In this instance, it looks like “Thank U, Next,” was Ariana’s light. Since the release of the single, Grande has gone on to release another studio album, successfully complete her “Sweetner World Tour,” and is even on five of the tracks for the upcoming film, “Charlie’s Angels.“
For Ariana Grande, giving up is not an option. She is proving to the world that despite her challenges and heartbreak, she is able to keep her head held high and say, well, “Thank U, Next” to whatever obstacles life throws her way. Don’t dismiss Ariana, because she’s just getting started.