Billboard named Ariana Grande “Woman of the Year,” and the singer sat down with the magazine to dish about her life and her infamous relationships that inspire the music that tops the charts.
“This is how I meet people — I can’t just, like, meet someone at a bar. I live fast and full-out, and I make mistakes, and I learn from them and I’m grateful no matter what happens,” Grande told Billboard.
Grande’s exes, Big Sean, Mac Miller, and her recent breakup with almost-husband Pete Davidson, have inspired the “Thank U, Next” singer to use her feelings of love and heartache to pen some of her greatest hits. All four of her albums have gone platinum and beyond.
Her last album, Sweetener — which she wrote after the tragedy of the Manchester bombings — was her third No. 1 album on Billboard’s Top 200, but the success of the album was met with tragedy. Shortly after the album release, Grande’s ex, Mac Miller, died of an overdose in his Studio City home. Grande, who collaborated on several projects with her ex, name-dropped Miller in “Thank U, Next,” along with the others she praises as inspiring her despite the heartbreak.
“Thank U, Next” and the iconic accompanying video which shows Grande as the star of several cult-classic chick flicks is Grande’s homage to the men who loved her, but more importantly, for the love she now has for herself. Though her hits have been so heavily influenced by her relationships with famous men — most recently, her very public breakup with fiance Pete Davidson — Grande says that the time has come for some self-love and to be her own inspiration in her music from here on out.
“When I felt myself saying, ‘Cause her name is Ari,’ I knew it was a special line, but part of me was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s kind of corny. But the other part of me was like, ‘That’s beautiful and I need to keep it in.’ I know that once I put something into a song, then it’s real,” she added.
And fans are happy with the results of Grande’s new found love for herself as a strong, single woman. The video for “Thank U, Next” had the biggest debut in YouTube history, and the single peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“It is so exciting to see something be received well. That’s a beautiful thing. But it’s even more beautiful, to be honest, and just do something. To drop a record on a Saturday night because you feel like it, and because your heart’s going to explode if you don’t — to take back your narrative,” the singer mused.