Ariana Grande is back with another anthem, just a little over a month after dropping her last single.
The pop star, 25, released the newest song from her upcoming fifth album called “Imagine” on Friday just after midnight.
The R&B pop ballad — which features Grande showing off her impressive range — touches upon her reflection of what-ifs and if-onlys in regards to her “failed yet important beautiful relationships.”
“Imagine a world like that/Imagine a world like that/We could light up till I’m ‘sleep on your chest/Love how my face fits so good in your neck/Boy, can you imagine a world like that? Imagine a world,” Grande wistfully sings in the chorus.
Fans quickly picked up on the song’s references, which seemingly recalled her relationship with Miller. From his “Imagine” tattoo to lyrical allusions to their first kiss, Buzzfeed outlined the ways Grande paid tribute to her late ex.
Prior to releasing the track on Friday, Grande gave fans a preview of what to expect on her Instagram Stories that seemed to hint at Miller, as well.
“A lot of this album mourns failed yet important beautiful relationships in my life (as well as celebrates growth / exploring new independence),” she wrote, teasing the track followed by a countdown to its release.
“But for those of you asking about imagine: i would say if ‘thank u, next’ = acceptance… ‘imagine’ = denial. hope that makes sense,” she added. “kind of like… pretending it never ended. denial. but i look forward to you hearing it and having your own experience with it. you may take away something totally different and specific to your life! love u.”
The song also dropped at the same time that Miley Cyrus released her newest single “War Is Over,” which Grande tweeted about ahead of the release.
“guys, i know there are grown men arguing online rn but miley and i dropping our beautiful, new songs tonight so if y’all could please jus behave for just like a few hours so the girls can shine that’d be so sick thank u,” she wrote, referencing the Twitter feud between Kanye West and Drake.
In response, Cyrus, 26, supportively tweeted back: “Didn’t they hear the news ?! War IS over ! Thank you, next!” alongside several rainbow hearts.
Unusually both of their song titles seemed to be inspired by the late John Lennon’s songs “Imagine” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.
“Imagine” comes just over a month after Grande put out her upbeat break-up anthem “Thank U, Next,” which she refers to as an “acceptance” song after having experienced love, patience, and pain from her past relationships.
The song, which is the singer’s first single to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, finds Grande reviewing her past romances with dancer Ricky Alvarez, rapper Big Sean, Miller, and Davidson. In the lyrics, she praises all of them for helping fuel her personal growth.
“Thought I’d end up with Sean / But he wasn’t a match / Wrote some songs about Ricky / Now I listen and laugh / Even almost got married / And for Pete, I’m so thankful / Wish I could say ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel,” she sings in the tune.
“It’s me and my besties tipsy off champagne — and me with my broken heart — just letting it out and having fun,” she said about the hit. “I love this more than any other song I’ve ever put out.”
Last week, the “No Tears Left to Cry” singer was honored at the magazine’s Women in Music event, where she was presented with the prestigious Woman of the Year award. During her acceptance speech, Grande struggled to hold back tears as she touched upon her difficult year.
“I want to say that I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life,” she said. “I’m not saying that for sympathy, I’m just saying that because I think a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now…and think, ‘She’s really got her s— together,’ Ya know? Like, ‘She’s really on it.’ Like, ‘She’s got it all.’ “
Grande continued: “I do, but as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f— I’m doing so yeah, it’s been a very conflicting one.”
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“I just want to say if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter’s gonna bring, you’re not alone in that,” Grande added, fighting back tears. “Ew, I’m not gonna cry that’s really stupid… You’re not alone in that. I’m really looking forward to embracing whatever happens; whatever comes my way.”
Finishing her speech, Grande opened up about her plans for 2019 and revealed what she’s has learned throughout her difficult year — including a new approach to love and relationships.
“I look forward to hopefully learning to give some of the love and forgiveness that I’ve given away so frivolously and easily to men in the past to myself hopefully this year,” she said. “I have everything I’ve ever dreamt of having and as of late I’ve discovered that it’s the things I’ve always had and the people I’ve always had that still make me the happiest.”
“Imagine” is streaming on Apple Music or Spotify — listen here.