Ariana Grande released "Thank U, Next", her fifth studio album, and her second album in six months, on Thursday at midnight. The 12-track collection includes the title track and “7 Rings,” both of which previously debuted at Number One on the Hot 100.
Titled "Thank U, Next", the record – released by Republic Records – follows Sweetener and was written during a time of big change for the singer.
Just week’s after Sweetener‘s release in August, Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller was found dead at the age of 26. In October 2018, the singer called off her engagement with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson.
Grande’s latest record features what seems to be many references to both Miller and Davidson, with one song in particular – “In My Head” – seemingly dedicated to the former.
During the song, Grande references a ‘wingless angel“ – ”angel" being the word she used to describe Miller on the album’s title track ”Thank U, Next".
According to Grande, the song “Ghostin’” is about “feeling badly for the person you’re with because you love somebody else.” Fans have since speculated the track could be about Grande having feelings for Miller while being with Davidson. The lyrics seem to suggest this: “I know you hear me when I cry / I try to hold it in at night / While you’re sleepin’ next to me” and later, Grande sings: “But it’s your arms that I need this time / Look at the cards that we’ve been dealt.”
While working on "Thank U, Next", Grande returned to the studio with a number of longtime collaborators, including Tommy “TB Hits” Brown, Victoria Monét and Savan Kotecha. She also recruited some writers that she hasn’t worked with as often in the past: Justin Tranter, who has penned single for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and the duo Nova Wav, who played a maGrande’s latest LP comes less than six months after her last full-length, Sweetener. In between albums, the singer released an impressive string of hits that culminated with “7 Rings,” which is currently enjoying a second week at Number One. Most singers are lucky to get one single into heavy rotation on Top 40 radio, but Grande has three at once, a remarkable feat. Those tracks combined to reach more than 145 million listeners on the pop airwaves last week, according to Nielsen BDS.
Despite Grande’s success, she will not be attending or performing at the Grammys on Sunday. In an interview published on Thursday, the award show’s producer, Ken Ehrlich, claimed Grande would be absent because she “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.”
The singer took to Twitter on Thursday to correct the record. “I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me,” Grande wrote. “I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you that I decided not to attend.” She described the Grammys as “just a game” before adding, “I’m sorry, but that’s not what music is to me.”jor role on the Carters’ surprise album Everything Is Love last year.