Sometimes it’s hard to face the truth.
But when it comes to music, Ariana Grande feels speaking openly about love, death and heartbreak will set her free. On Tuesday, the singer-songwriter revealed her latest song, titled “Imagine,” will be released Friday at midnight.
“A lot of this album mourns failed yet important beautiful relationships in my life (as well as celebrates growth / exploring new independence),” she posted to her Instagram story 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.”
“Imagine” comes just over a month after Grande, 25, 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, Mac Miller, and Pete 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.”
On Thursday night, 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 very tumultuous year, which included the death of Miller and her whirlwind failed romance with Davidson.
“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.’ “
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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.”
Grande and Miller, 26, dated for two years before officially calling it quits in late April. Shortly after the pair ended things, Grande and Davidson, 25, began dating. They were engaged less than two months later.
But Grande’s newfound relationship bliss was short-lived when Miller was found dead in September after an accidental overdose. As she struggled to cope with the loss of her ex, her whirlwind romance with Davidson also ended, with the pair calling off their engagement in October.
“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 continued, 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.”