Ryen Cinski ’22
On the night of February 7th, I was so tired that I could’ve gone to sleep at 9:30. All my work was completed, and I had absolutely no reason to stay up, except for the release of Ariana Grande’s 5thalbum, “thank u, next” at midnight. Prior to the album drop, Grande released three singles, titled “thank u next,” “imagine,” and “7 rings.” Each single holds a powerful message and shows her complexities and emphasizes the fact that just like anyone else, she is human.
Even though her music is catchy and something that I would have no problem listening to on repeat, my biggest admiration is for the empowering impact that it has. Everyone feels down at times, and everyone has their own things to deal with. It often seems that celebrities have perfect lives of luxury and stardom because they aren’t always completely transparent about their problems. In terms of Ariana Grande, it’s been evident in the recent past that she has faced hard times in her personal life.
On May 22nd, 2017, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest full of nuts and bolts detonated in the foyer of Manchester Arena during Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour. 23 people were killed from the explosion, over 100 hundred were wounded and thousands were traumatized. Ariana Grande was heartbroken and absolutely devastated. In a quote given to TIME, she said “It’s the absolute worst of humanity…”In response to the attack, she raised approximately 13 Million dollars for Manchester.
On September 7th, 2018, distinguished rapper and loved artist Mac Miller overdosed on fentanyl and cocaine. This came as a shock to his family, friends, devoted fans, and Ariana Grande, his ex-girlfriend. She reacted as anyone would- with feelings of despair and heartbreak. She later released her single “Imagine” which is rumored to be about Miller and received instant backlash for what many call “capitalizing off his death.”
In May of 2018, Grande then started dating SNL star Pete Davidson, who she later got engaged to after a very short amount of time. Despite their matching tattoos and her song all about him, the engagement was called off, likely leaving both upset and fragile. Davidson, who suffers from mental health issues, later posted a dark message on social media, hinting suicide. His friends, family, and fans were very concerned, and thankfully, he rebounded from the incident.
Ariana Grande has been involved in heartbreak and hardship, and while many would take time off from their career, Grande picked herself up and went to record. Her new album, featuring 12 tracks, many of which Grande herself wrote on, holds feelings of love, happiness, despair, and most importantly: Revival.
To her fans, Ariana Grande is empowering. She is a vision of beauty, class, hard work, talent and strength. She teaches her young and old audience alike the value of persevering and overcoming. For me, her songs are things that bring me comfort, and allow me to feel good about myself. When I listen, I am genuinely happy.
The public has told Grande what she should feel and what she shouldn’t. “thank u, next” rebels against this and represents a multitude of feelings. On one track she wants love, yet on another she just wants fun. She sings about past loves and experiences unapologetically.
Ariana Grande uses her platform for all the right reasons. She is a strong supporter of feminism, mental health awareness and happiness. She exudes positivity and handles situations with class and grace (and sometimes a little bit of attitude). She is constantly hard at work and making her way through what she is going through in her private life. She embraces her femininity with pride and confidence. Ariana Grande’s presence as a powerful woman in music is iconic, and something that will continue to inspire many.
Photo Source: Billboard.com