Hidden References To Ariana Grande's Exes In New Music Video 'Breathin'
All the relationship references in Ariana Grande's new single 'thank u, next'
After a difficult couple of months in her personal life, has surprised fans by dropping the mother of all break-up anthems.
The 25-year-old teased the new single on Instagram on Saturday before posting a link to 'thank u, next' on Saturday night - a song that doesn't feature on Ariana's recently releasedSweetneralbum.
After a week of rumours about things turning sour between Ariana and her ex-fiance Pete Davidson, she reportedly released the song just half an hour before Pete appeared onSaturday Night Liveand actually spoke about their break-up in a skit before encouraging viewers to vote in the US mid-terms this week...
Anyway, back to 'thank u, next': Ariana does not hold back in this song. She bravely lays out her vulnerability by publicly addressing ex-boyfriends by name before coming to a really healthy conclusion that what's most important for her right now, in light of everything she's been through over the past couple of years, is the relationship she has with herself. Yassss.
Here are the main lyrics which caught our attention and what they mean:
Ariana dives straight in by naming four of her most high-profile relationships followed by a brief line about each of them.
"Thought I'd end up with Sean. But he wasn't a match."
Ariana dated rapper Big Sean for eight months before calling it quits in April 2015 with their reps saying they both "deeply care for each other and remain close friends". The two had worked together with Sean rapping on 'Right There' in 2013 and 'Problem' in 2015.
"Wrote some songs about Ricky. Now I listen and laugh."
Ariana dated her back-up dancer Ricky from the summer of 2015 for roughly a year. They kept things relatively low-key but the pair were first linked when they were seen kissing inthatdoughnut-gate video.
In the 'thank u, next' lyrics, Ariana says she wrote songs about Ricky. Her friend and co song-writer Victoria Monet toldBillboardthat the song 'Moonlight' from theDangerous Womanalbum was written about Ricky as that was his nickname for Ariana.
"Even almost got married. And for Pete, I'm so thankful."
Ariana also references her most recent relationship with Pete. The couple got together in May, confirming it with an adorably joint picture of them inHarry Pottercostumes. Things went from zero to 100 real quick, when Ariana sported a rock on her ring finger just three weeks into their relationship. What followed was a few months of some PDA, matching tattoos (now covered up), a pet pig and public declarations of love before the couple stunned fans by suddenly breaking up and ending their engagement in October.
After a week of suggestions that the couple are not on the best of terms since their split, Ariana's track begs to differ by affirming she is thankful for her relationship with Pete, even if the whole wedding thing didn't work out.
"Wish I could say 'Thank you' to Malcolm. 'Cause he was an angel."
The most poignant line is about her former boyfriend of two years Mac Miller (real name Malcolm McCormick) who tragically passed away in September 2019, where Ariana says she wishes she could speak to him and let him know what he meant to her. Since his death, she has posted a series of tributes to Mac on Instagram and now appears to be looking after his dog.
A week after his death, she wrote: "I adored you from the day I met you when I was nineteen and I always will. I can't believe you aren't here anymore. I really can't wrap my head around it. We talked about this. so many times. I'm so mad, I'm so sad I don't know what to do... i'm sorry i couldn't fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved."
Other relationship-based lyrics
"One taught me love. One taught me patience. And one taught me pain. Now, I'm so amazing. I've loved and I've lost. But that's not what I see. So, look what I got. Look what you taught me."
Ariana finishes off the ex-boyfriends segment by rounding up what she's learned from each relationship and how it will help navigate her future. When she talks about 'pain', it could be about Mac given both the tragic circumstances of his death and the struggles they had during their relationship (which Ariana spoke about on Twitter after they broke up).
Since releasing the song, Ariana has stressed that there is no "shade" or "drags" when she mentions her past relationships. It's all about growth which seems evident by the line she repeats multiple times in the chorus:
"Thank you, next. I'm so f****n' grateful for my ex."
no drags.... no shade..... jus love, gratitude, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness ... and growth 🖤— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 3, 2019
Her new relationship
After singing about her exes, Ariana references a new relationship she's entered:
"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.
Video: Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Explained | Song Stories
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