On August 17th, 2018, Ariana Grande released her fourth album sweetener and what an epic, emotional, record-breaking era it has been.✨
Let’s take a look back on some of the amazing highlights from the last year…
In the prior months, Ariana had been teasing that she was working on her new album, but it wasn’t until December 31st that she shared a beautiful snippet of, what we now know to be, ‘get well soon’ with the caption “see you next year”. She then practically disappeared from social media for the next few months, leaving fans in immense anticipation of when she would make her big return.
Then came the tweets… On April 18th Ariana returned to Twitter with a simple tweet, featuring a key emoji…
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) April 17, 2018
And then tweeted the words ‘no tears left to cry’ upside down (a later recurring theme of this era) and the date April 20th.
ʎɹɔ oʇ ʇɟǝl sɹɐǝʇ ou 4.20
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) April 17, 2018
Ariana returns with ‘no tears left to cry’
Ariana’s debut song for this new era, ‘no tears left to cry’, dropped a couple of days later and was, and still is, pop perfection. ‘no tears left to cry’ was the first track Ariana had released since the Manchester bombing and she didn’t shy away from addressing the tragedy. She responded by creating a song full of hope and positivity, with the goal of bringing good vibes to all her fans and the world. At the end of the music video, she included a simple and beautiful tribute to the 22 innocent lives that were lost and everyone affected by the attack. See if you can spot the little bee, a symbol of Manchester. 🐝
Later on, she also got it tattooed behind her ear ❤️
‘no tears left to cry’ entered and peaked at number 4 on the charts in New Zealand and this was just the beginning. In May, Ariana visited the Jimmy Fallon Show and, as an Arianator, you KNOW that she is not good at keeping info in! Sure enough, she spilt a whole pot of tea while on the couch. ☕ She even started out saying that she would not be announcing the album release date, but soon accidentally gave fans the math to work it out. 😂 Talking about the album she expressed how “it’s kind of about bringing light to a situation or to someone’s life or somebody else who brings light to your life, or sweetening the situation”. While the creation of this album was therapeutic for Ariana, she certainly brought light to all of her fans when she released these beautiful tracks.
God is a woman and her name is Ariana Grande
Ariana released three more songs from sweetener, ‘god is a woman’‘, ‘breathin’’, and ‘the light is coming’ feat. Nicki Minaj. While all these tracks are absolute bops, we have got to take a minute to bow down to ‘god is a woman’. The song and its music video are bold and encouraging representations of female empowerment. ♀️ The feminine energy throughout the two is ever-present, and Ariana recreates art and characters from Greek and Roman mythology by placing herself, a female, at the centre. In one scene she literally sits on top of the world controlling the weather! ☁️ If listening to this song and watching this music video doesn’t make you feel like embracing your femininity and sexuality, I don’t know what will.
The Sweetener Slumber Party
Before her album dropped, Ariana collaborated with radio host, Zach Sang, to invite 18 of her fans to hang out with her in LA. As well as being the first lucky fans to listen to some of the unheard songs from sweetener, they also got to take photos with Ari, and Pharrell was there too.
stan twitter sweetener slumber party 💋 we did that ! pic.twitter.com/jNdFk6muzO
— talin (@childrensgrande) August 8, 2018
Carpool Karaoke with James Corden
That’s it. That’s this paragraph. #nowords
Her third #1 Album!
On August 20th Ariana embarked on a little promotional tour called “The Sweetener Sessions”. With only four intimate shows in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, Ariana performed songs from sweetener and a few fan faves from previous albums like ‘Honeymoon Avenue’, ‘Only 1’ and ‘One Last Time’. During her show in Chicago, Ariana’s mum, Joan, and her manager, Scooter Braun, walked on stage while Ariana was performing ‘god is a woman’. They had to tell her that sweetener is about to be the No. 1 album in the country and the world, and sure enough, it debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and topped the charts in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and more. Seeing her pure emotional reaction to the news shows just how much this meant to her, and we are SO PROUD 💖
She is now a Grammy Award winner 🏆
One of the biggest moments of this era was when sweetener earned Ariana her first Grammy Award for ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’. Unfortunately, she didn’t attend or perform at the awards ceremony due to a disagreement with the ceremony’s producer, but that didn’t stop her from wearing her custom Zac Posen gown and posing with her pups at home. Absolutely stunning! 😍
And for that, I say ‘thank u, next’
Ariana hadn’t even started touring for sweetener when she released ANOTHER album. It had recently been announced that her engagement to Pete Davidson had ended when he publicly mocked their breakup on SNL. Ariana soon started frequently tweeting the phrase ‘thank u, next’, which led fans to think that her new album might be coming…
anyway …… thank u, next
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 3, 2018
thank u, next was released just three months after sweetener and so many records were broken with this album. She dropped the song ‘thank u, next’ in November and she was so right when she sang “this song is a smash”. The album and the song hit No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 (Ari’s first No. 1 single), she broke the record for the most-watched music video on YouTube within 24 hours, in just 11 days the song reached 100 million streams making it the fastest song to do so, and it was the most-streamed song by a female artist in 24 hours, with 9.6 million streams – it was later surpassed by her song ‘7 rings’ which hit nearly 15 million streams. She later released two more tracks from the album, ‘7 rings’ and ‘break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored’, and Ariana hit an insane milestone… She became the first solo artist to occupy the top three spots with ‘7 rings’ at No. 1, ‘break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored’ at No. 2 and ‘thank u, next’ at No. 3. A chart record that was originally set by The Beatles in 1964 and has never been accomplished since!
And we can’t forget about how ICONIC the music video for ‘thank u, next’ is, with references to some of our fave films – Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, Bring It On and Legally Blonde. Ariana collaborated once again with Hannah Lux Davis, the woman behind music videos for artists like Hailee Steinfeld, Demi Lovato, Halsey, and Kacey Musgraves. The pair invited some of our fave characters from the original movies to be in the music video (and some of Ari’s famous friends) and it’s now one of our favourite videos to ever exist.
The Sweetener (and thank u, next) World Tour
While it’s not quite a “world tour” (*all NZ Arianators cry*), with only dates in the United States and Europe, the Sweetener (and thank u, next) World Tour has already become Ariana’s highest-grossing tour, and the European leg has only just started! Her opening acts for North America have been Social House and Normani (who are both incredible up-and-coming artists), but for Europe, Ella Mai replaces Normani. Fans have absolutely fallen in love with this tour and it is not hard to see why. If you haven’t seen any videos or photos from the tour, here are some of our favourites.
— Ariana Grande Fan HQ (@grande_hq) May 20, 2019
so happy i moved to circle stage for everytime. truly is an experience pic.twitter.com/4R1WXxcnHM
— sophia (@intoadore) July 14, 2019
🎉 ARICHELLA 🎉
In January it was announced that Ariana would be headlining Coachella, alongside Tame Impala and Childish Gambino, making her the youngest and fourth female artist to ever headline the music festival. Fans were quick to discuss if she would bring out any special guests, who they could be, and we almost bought flights to California. 😅 Flash forward to the epic weekends and Ariana put on a massive show in the desert and surprised the crowd with her childhood idols NSYNC, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, P. Diddy and Mase.
Ariana was under a huge spotlight after what happened in Manchester and her private life was anything but private as she got engaged, lost Mac Miller 👼, and ended her engagement. She could have easily stepped away from the public eye, and fans would have respected her decision, but instead, she returned with more strength, positivity, and love than we could have ever imagined. After just one year, she came out the other side with two smash albums, a Grammy Award, numerous record-breaking, history-making songs, her largest earning tour, and she was named Billboard’s 2018 ‘Woman of the Year’ and the youngest headliner of Coachella ever. We can’t wait to see (and hear) what Ariana Grande brings in the next year and our fingers are still crossed that she will come back and visit us in New Zealand soon! 🤞
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