Ariana Grande’s much-anticipated Sweetener tour has kicked off, but something about it is leaving fans a little “Thank U, Next.”
On March 20, The Metro reported mixed (if not negative) reviews. Nobody was questioning Ariana’s four-octave whistle register. Rather, it’s the accompanying merch that has everyone “puzzled.” White “Sweetener World Tour” tees now appear to come complete with a very visible stain which one Twitter user called a “d*ck stain.” Despite the bohemian tie-dye feel, the resemblance to the aforementioned “d*ck” is uncanny.
“Ariana needs to fire the entire merch team bc it SMELLS.”
As social media comments poured in, The Metro collated responses. While one fan professed “love” for Ariana, their conclusion came with a “c’mon,” suggesting that they themselves could “make better merch than this.”
Pedestrian covered similar feedback while giving its own input.
“Might help if her merch didn’t look like it was made in MS Paint by a five year old.”
Grande kicked off the Albany, New York, leg of her global tour with a string of Instagram posts for her 148 million followers. The “7 Rings” singer has stayed front-page news since her shock split from Pete Davidson in October 2018. Grande’s failed engagement launched “Thank U, Next” as a track, paving the way for the 2019-released Thank U, Next album.
This isn’t the first merch-related headline from Grande. As anticipation built up for Sweetener’s March 2019 kickoff, Ariana took to Instagram to explain the “clear, plastic bag” that ticket holders must keep their possessions in. The security measure follows the 2017 terrorist attack that saw 22 fans killed during Ariana’s Manchester, UK, concert. Ariana posted a merch option for the required bags, although these appear to be stain-free.
View this post on Instagram
dear sweetener / thank u next tour audience friends, ????✉️ we’re sending out emails soon encouraging you to order a clear bag to bring your things into the venues as security is going to be very precise and smooth but for sure super strict. they’re super cheap and simple but having them ahead of time will for sure help things go as smooth as possible so if you see this in your emails please don’t ignore it! my team n i appreciate it very much! p.s. any clear bags within a certain size (all info will be in the ✉️) are totally fine to bring if you already have your own, i just wanted to make sure you saw these and knew about all this ahead of time so everything can go as smoothly and safely as possible. love you. thank you!
Both The Metro and Pedestrian also highlighted the somewhat-pricey nature of Ariana’s latest merch. With a price tag ranging between $40 and $75 for Sweetener apparel, the unsightly stain appears to have fans hesitating when it comes to solidifying their purchase choice.
“ariana really put a [d*ck] stain on her merch and said here u go, that’ll b $100.”
Ariana can earn $50,000 a day from merch alone, Harper’s Bazaar reports. Noting that the singer’s Dangerous Woman tour grossed $71 million, the magazine had plenty to go by for its “Here’s Where She Gets It All From” headline.
With its “lashes and diamonds, ATM machines” lyrics, “7 Rings” is the Thank U, Next track that stresses Ariana’s materialistic streak. Grande’s recent Fendi and Burberry-monogrammed streetwear definitely place this songstress in the “spend it like you earn it” category, but we’ve yet to see Ariana sport the “d*ck stain” tee.