When Ariana Grande was preparing to release her hit single “Thank U, Next,” she wasn’t entirely sure where her relationship with Pete Davidson stood. The singer revealed in an interview on The Zach Sang Show that she wrote three different versions of the hit tune based on the “ups and downs” that she had with the comedian. At the time, she was uncertain which version, if any, would be released.
“In my relationship by the time things were, like, up and down and on and off and so I didn’t know what was gonna happen,” Grande explained, according to Entertainment Tonight. “And then we got back together and so I had to make a different version of it. And then we broke up again and so we ended up going with that version.”
The 25-year-old pop sensation went on to explain that, in one version, she actually ended up getting married. In another, she focused on the things people have said about her, such as the fact that she has had too many boyfriends and she’s too young.
“There’s a version with nothing, we’re not talking about anything,” Grande said. “But we all knew the first version was gonna be the version we ultimately went with… I just wanted to cover all the bases.”
As fans know, the version that did make it to stores and streaming services became an instant success. “Thank U, Next” was released as a surprise on November 3, 2018, and garnered record-breaking praise within hours. The single not only became Grande’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but also the first No. 1 hit on the chart by any woman since Adele’s “Hello” in 2015, Billboard reported.
Grande also broke numerous Spotify and Apple Music streaming records. On Monday, November 5, for example, “Thank U, Next” officially broke Spotify’s number of streams in a single day with nearly 8.2 million streams.
The song is ultimately a break-up song filled with female empowerment. Grande thanks a few of her exes by name for helping her grow as a person and teaching her valuable life lessons. Davidson, of course, made it into the track when she sang, “And for Pete I’m so thankful.”
Grande wasn’t always so sure about blatantly calling out her past loves, though. She mentioned during the interview that she was shy about the idea of naming names at first, knowing it would be a big deal, but her friends convinced her to move forward and it “became very real” for Grande.
When the song was finally released, Grande shared that it was also a “closure” of sorts for her mother, who had been extremely patient and caring throughout all of her daughter’s past relationships.
“It was just a beautiful moment for her,” Grande said.
“Thank U, Next” can be heard on Grande’s newest album of the same name, available for streaming and downloads now.