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In the past few months, Ariana Grande has taken pop culture and social media by storm. Reaching #1 on Spotify’s most monthly listeners and continuously satisfying fans, the megastar is making history with her catchy melodies and masterfully-crafted lyrics.
With over 825,000 viewers watching live as it aired on November 30, the music video for “thank u, next” reached 100 million views within three days of its release. “100 million people watched us brush our teeth this week,” she tweeted on Nov. 3, tagging “Victorious” costar, Matthew Bennett. Also featured in the five-minute production were Elizabeth Gillies and Daniella Monet of the same cast, reality TV mom Kris Jenner, and actor Jonathan Bennett who played Aaron Samuels in “Mean Girls” 14 years ago. These cameos, along with detailed homage paid to chick flicks such as “Mean Girls,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Clueless” added a touch of nostalgia for 2000’s kids.
In response to her mother’s role in the video, Kim Kardashian tweeted several days later, “I’m in a huge meeting and my mom just said ‘thank you, next’ to everyone. She’s really milking this, guys.”
Reaching immense popularity, Grande’s newest hit has been the talk of Twitter users have curated a humorous spin on one recurring lyric in the song, “One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain,” pairing this with photographs of unlikely things that somehow impact their lives such as food, traffic, and childhood games, respectively. YouTuber Maestro Ziikos even took the time to edit Donald Trump’s words from different events into a short version of the song.
“Thank u, next” followed the release of the immensely popular album, “Sweetener” which Grande released in August, and for which she is about to begin touring the globe.
Among those she spoke about was late ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller who died of a suspected drug overdose in September. “I wish I could say ‘thank you’ to Malcolm ‘cause he was an angel.” Grande also made mention of her called-off engagement with Pete Davidson, occurring just a month before the release. After reminiscing on past relationships, the singer goes on to express the importance of self-love in her journey, as well as the role of her mother.
Essentially, the song speaks about learning from pain and finding the good in a bad situation, a formative theme for all those listening, no matter how she puts it.