On Nov. 3, Ariana Grande released her newest single, “Thank u, next,” which was a tribute to her past relationships and exes. The song was sparked by Grande’s recent break up with her former fiancee, SNL veteran Pete Davidson. During the past month, the hit has reached number one on the Billboard charts and on Nov. 30 Grande uploaded the official music video. The video was a homage to early 2000s high school classics, such as Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, Bring it On and several others. While the song’s title may lead one to believe Grande is dissing her exes, it is actually a departure from the traditional breakup song formula used by artists such as Taylor Swift and Sam Smith, which routinely peruse today’s radio.
The song has broken Vevo records with the music video garnering 44 million views, more than any other video in 24 hours so far in 2018. Both longtime fans and general audiences have praised the song for its catchy beat and cutting-edge depiction of heartbreak. Junior Gabriella Tella believes that the song has done something different by creating a more healthy message about relationships.
“Taylor Swift writes songs about every boyfriend of hers, and when people listen to that they begin to see bad stuff in their relationships,” Tella said. “I think what Ariana Grande did is a good thing because a lot of people are listening to her, and instead of reflecting upon the bad things, they’re reflecting on the good things.”
For fans like senior Harper Dailey, it is garnering so much attention compared to other breakup songs because it is a song which honors and reflects upon Grande’s past relationships and her ability to be ok with herself being single, as opposed to wallowing in her own sadness.
“I think the song sends a big message because a lot of people today don’t realize that you don’t have to be in a relationship,” Dailey said. “And she kind of sends the message that, ‘you need to work on yourself before need to work on dating others.”’
Even for people who have not heard the song, social media has spread the track around the world and its message into the consciousness of many teenagers. Senior Zain Ibdah is not an avid listener of Grande but has seen the song pop up consistently on a variety of social media.
“I have not heard the song yet,” Ibdah said. “I know that it was about moving on from a recent breakup and recent exes. I saw it on social media and I heard people talking about it on social media, and then one day the music video popped up on trending.”
Despite the end of Grande’s relationship to Davidson appearing to present negativity, the song for many fans is a good influence on teenagers and encourages them to look back on what they have learned, not only in their relationships but in the rest of their lives, as well. For Tella, learning about oneself comes from various experiences, and everything in life is a teachable moment.
“For teenagers, I think it’s really good to see the good side of relationships,” Tella said. “I think there is always something you can get out of it since it’s a completely different person, it’s a different personality than you have, so I think it’s nice that you can learn about yourself and how you deal with different personalities.”