Thank U, Next. How Ariana Grande Took 2018 by Storm

Part 1


Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ariana Grande performs at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas.

Pop artist Ariana Grande started off her career in 2010 playing “Cat” on Nickelodeon’s hit television show “Victorious”. After the show ended in 2013 Grande released her debut album “Your’s Truly” and it debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart(1). Since then her fame has been steadily on the rise.

Following the tragedy at her Manchester concert in May of 2017. A bomb explosion injured over 500 of her fans and killed 22, including the assailant(2). She returned to Manchester in June for a special tribute performance for the victims.

She was virtually silent for the next year besides teasing new music. Then, on April 20th, 2018 Ariana released the first highly anticipated single from her fourth album “No Tears Left to Cry”. Shortly after she announced her latest album “Sweetener

“Sweetener” was released on August 17th, 2018 after singles “The Light is Coming” and “God is Woman” consecutively dropped. During this time she also announced her engagement to comedian Pete Davidson. This 15-track project produced by Pharrell and Max Martin also went No. 1 within a week on the Billboard 200 chart(3).

Grande’s 2018 quickly turned sour when her ex-boyfriend, rapper, Mac Miller suddenly passed away due to a fatal overdose in September. The two had broken up shortly before she became engaged to Davidson. Adding on to the already devastating event, Ariana received a lot of backlash from Miller’s fans. They blamed her in part for his death and even sent her death threats.

Despite all this Ariana continued to press on. On November 3 she released her iconic single, breakup anthem: “Thank U, Next”. The upbeat song about resilience and self-love was co-written by the singer and her best friends Tayla Parx and Victoria Monet.(4)

After posting images and teasing for weeks, Grande dropped the visual for the single. The video was everything fans expected and more. Grande reenacts scenes from popular early 2000’s romantic comedies, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring it On, and 13 Going on 30. The legendary montage included cameos from her own friends, social media stars, Kris Jenner, and even cast members of the movies she featured.

As 2018 came to a close Ariana Grande received Billboard’s 2018, Woman of the Year award where she embraced all the love and loss she’d encountered that year and makes it clear that in 2019 she’s focused on loving herself.