Ariana Grande has had a wild, tumultuous year — from the release of her critically acclaimed fourth album, to the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, to her short-lived engagement to Pete Davidson, it feels like her name hasn’t left the headlines.
Last night, she flooded our news feeds again by releasing a song about growth, self-love and lessons learned from past boyfriends: “thank u, next.”
The lyrics are simple and relatable — they honestly sound like a conversation I’d have sitting around with my friends the night after somebody dumped their significant other — and Ariana sings them beautifully in her fluttery upper register.
In the first verse, Ariana opens strong by name-dropping her past lovers and paying a sweet homage to Mac, who died of a suspected overdose in September.
“Even almost got married and for Pete, I’m so thankful/ Wish I could say ‘thank you’ to Malcolm ‘cause he was an angel.”
While the title comes off a little shady, the song itself is all about positivity — she is earnestly thanking her exes for teaching her something about love, and she’s priding herself on growing through her pain and taking a step back to focus on her own life.
“Thank u, next/ I’m so fuckin’ grateful for my ex.”
This piece of pop treasure spontaneously dropped about 30 minutes before Saturday Night Live started. During the ‘Weekend Update’ sketch, Pete got serious for a moment and made a brief, respectful statement about his breakup with Ariana.
“She’s a wonderful strong person, and I genuinely wish her all the happiness in the world,” he said before urging people to vote this Tuesday.
“thank u, next” reached number one on the Apple Music charts and is the only pop song to do so this year. The bop almost instantly spurred hilariously laudatory reactions on Twitter.
Ariana after making the decision to release her new song 30 minutes before SNL pic.twitter.com/qcAb9aKzDW
— jon (@prasejeebus) November 4, 2018
All this time Ariana grande was actually the one with big dick energy
— Jen Ruggirello (@jenrigatoni) November 4, 2018
THANK U, NEXT pic.twitter.com/oIfEwC2WJK
— please vote (@jovannews) November 4, 2018
Hours before releasing the single, Ariana tweeted that “thank u, next” is also the title of her upcoming album, which her vague posts indicate she has been working on for a while now. If the quality of this song is any indication of the quality of the album to come, well, we’re just so blessed to be in the same timeline as Queen Grande.