We’re not afraid to say it: Ariana Grande just might be the Queen of Everything. Not only can she hit a high note like nobody else and turn the idea of female sexuality into a mainstream radio bop, she’s incomparable when it comes to visuals. Whether she’s whipping up a whole new aesthetic for an album or making a mini movie in a music vid, her looks are always the most exciting thing about her music. Arguably no other female pop star has done it quite like Grande has; so, in honour of her sixth studio album Positions recently dropping, we take a look at 10 of our fave music videos from the star’s career so far.
1. ‘Break Free’ ft. Zedd (2014)
Grande’s 2014 hit with Zedd is a fave for many reasons; it’s good to dance to, has an uplifting message, and the music video is kind of insane. Taking inspiration from the 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella and the Star Warsfranchise, Grande finds herself on a fictional planet to form an allegiance with a group of aliens. She breaks some prisoners out of their cages, fires some missiles from her breasts and then has a dance party with her alien friends and Zedd. It’s unclear as to what is actually going on, and more importantly why, but the visual of Grande as some kind of space princess makes for a good watch.
2. ‘Into You’ (2016)
With its whopping four noms at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, it’s not hard to see why this one is a fave visual of Grande’s. Not only does it just perfectly represent 2016 in every single way (remember our obsession with lace and denim?) but it tells an exciting and romantic story. The video follows a supercut of Grande with her love interest, riding motorbikes in the desert and staying at a shabby motel called Honeymoon Inn. It’s later revealed that she met this lover at a party (which she attended with another boyfriend) and the two have run off together to spark a new romance. It’s got all you want really.
3. ‘Everyday’ ft. Future (2017)
A song that leaves little to the imagination deserves a music video that equally does so. Featuring Grande walking around streets, appearing in laundromats and buses, the video sees couples of all ages, races and sexualities quite literally going at it in public. While they surprise onlookers with their immediate need for affection, Grande simply cheers them on. When it comes to Future’s verse, he’s seen in an office while two coworkers make out on the copier in front of their entire staff. It’s a fun video for a fun song, and Grande was praised for her inclusivity.
4. ‘One Last Time’ (2015)
There’s an overwhelming sense of sadness that comes with this track, which is perhaps why the music video taps into it so perfectly. Starting off with fictional news reports about Earth passing through the tail of a comet called Eurydice, a worldwide panic ensues and Grande and her boyfriend (played by fellow Victorious cast member Matt Bennett) are right in the middle of it. With a one-take shot, Grande is followed by Bennett and his film camera as she walks through chaos on the streets and in homes to try and get a better look at the comet that’s crashing down. The final scene sees Bennett and Grande embracing one another one last time as the comet explodes in the sky behind them. Phew, what a movie.
5. ‘no tears left to cry’ (2018)
Following the horrific bombing incident at her Manchester show in 2017, Grande took some time away from music and came back not only as a stronger artist but person. Admitting that she was moving ahead and trying to stay optimistic, ‘NTLTC’ became her powerful comeback anthem; and the video really amps it up the most. Exploring the idea of feeling lost and disorientated in life, Grande is seen through multiple optical illusions as she walks on ceilings and walls and falls through time and space. Showcasing a lower ponytail and a long braid, the video was a reinvention for the star in more ways than one.
6. ‘God is a woman’ (2018)
Not only one of the best on this list but arguably of any music video ever made, this one is truly unmatched. Following the visual elegance of ‘NTLTC’, this video takes bits and pieces from history, astronomy, Greek mythology, female sexuality and religion and piles it all together in a fresh, Grande-styled way. It’s absolutely incredible to watch all the detail and the looks Grande portrays, and the Madonna monologue chucked in the middle is the icing on the cake. God truly is a woman, and her name is Ariana Grande.
7. ‘7 rings’ (2019)
A braggadocio hit is a staple in rap music and usually a token trait of male musicians, so to have someone like Grande try her hand at it is simply refreshing. The video is wrapped up in a hazy pink tint and follows Grande and her friends essentially throwing one hell of a party. It’s aesthetic, it’s sassy, it makes you feel incredibly jealous, sad and poor; what more could one want? The heart of the video and track is its casualness. It’s a fun, lighthearted bop that doesn’t take itself too seriously; and the video is just downright captivating to watch.
8. ‘breathin’ (2018)
It’s hard to decide what’s better, the 3-minute clip of Grande’s pet pig Piggy Smallz wobbling around on a bed or the actual music video. We’ll say it’s even. But in the video that doesn’t feature a teacup pig, Grande is seen at a train station while dozens of people pass her by. We then cut to clips of Grande’s head in the clouds, Grande swinging in the clouds, and her surroundings in a fog while she’s dressed up formally. The song references Grande’s anxiety and the MV does a perfect job at visually showing what that state of mind feels like.
9. ‘thank u, next’ (2019)
Right up there with ‘GIAW’, this video truly excels. Combining four of her fave 2000s rom-coms, Grande recreates some of the most iconic moments from film in the last decade and creates a mini compilation. She dips into Mean Girls, 13 Going On 30, Legally Blonde and Bring It On, and ropes in her friends and other famous personalities (eg. Troye Sivan and Kris Jenner) to help bring the stories more to life. Not only is it really well executed, Grande helps bridge the gap between the past generation and the current. For her younger fans who likely didn’t grow up on such films, Grande is bringing the cycle of pop culture right back around and cementing her place in it.
10. ‘positions’ (2020)
The lead single from brand new album Positions is a play on words that sees Grande admit to switching up positions (both metaphorically and literally) for her current boyfriend, and the video sees these positions come to life with the star portraying the President of the United States. She attends a cabinet meeting, signs off executive orders in the Oval Office, cooks in the White House kitchen and walks her dogs along the South Lawn. The transitions between each task take a page from the ‘NTLTC’ and ‘GIAW’ CGI team and Grande replicates iconic First Lady Jackie Kennedy in her fashion choices.
Ariana Grande’s sixth studio album ‘Positions’ is out now.