Ariana Grande recently revealed that her signature song Thank U, Next almost did not have any of the names in it that made it such a smash hit.
In an interview to discuss her album Thank u, Next, Grande revealed that she made a version of the song Thank U, Next where she did not name any of her ex-boyfriends. It focused more on the rumors people circulated about her having too many boyfriends.
She said, “I was also trying to be protective. In my relationship [with Pete] at the time, things were like up and down and on and off, and so I didn’t know what was going to happen and then we got back together. So I had to make a different version of it, and then we broke up again, so we ended up going with that verse.”
She added, “There’s a version where I was getting married, there’s a version where I’m not getting married, there’s a version with nothing—we’re not talking about anything. But we all knew that the first version was gonna be the version we ultimately went with.”
She also revealed how difficult it was to actually put the song out there, She knew that she had taken a huge risk with it. She said, “It was a big risk and a very scary thing to do, because it is my life. I understand that to a lot of people, I’m not a real person, or it’s easy to just kind of like see me as like, a song or a picture or like a thing that kind of exists in their head and they know what they know and that’s it. But at the end of the day, these are people and relationships. It’s real s**t to me. It is real life and I spent a lot of time with each of those people…it was like scary to put in a song.”
Grande also revealed that she had Sean and Ricky listen to the song before she put it out there and that both of them were totally fine with it. She said, “I had sent it to Sean and he loved it. He loved it. It was very funny. He was like, ‘Damn, I’m the first one, huh?’ And I was like, ‘I mean, you know, I went kind of in order.’ He was very supportive, he loved it.”
Once the song was out, Ricky put up an Instagram story of himself listening to the lyrics about him (“Wrote some songs about Ricky / Now I listen and laugh”). He had a perplexed expression on his face. Grande explained that he had a similar reaction when he heard the song for the first time.
She said, “He was like, proud. But Ricky was like, ‘Why did I get the worst line?’ and I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ He was like, ‘Everyone else’s line is so nice, and mine is like, ‘Man, f**k him, he’s trash.’ I was like, ‘No, I could have said that, I could have said, ‘Wrote some songs about Ricky / Never mind, he’s trash.’ I was like, ‘I could’ve said that.’ But I didn’t, I said, ‘Now I listen and laugh.’ ‘Cause it didn’t work out.'”
Watch the full interview below:
Thank U, Next is Grande’s fifth studio album.