Thank U, Next (song)

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"Thank U, Next"
Ariana Grande Thank U Next.png
Single by Ariana Grande
from the album Thank U, Next
ReleasedNovember 3, 2018 (2018-11-03)
Format
Genre
Length3:27
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Tommy Brown
  • Charles Anderson
  • Michael Foster
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"Breathin"
(2018)
"Thank U, Next"
(2018)

"Thank U, Next" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song by American singer Ariana Grande from her upcoming fifth studio album of the same name. The track was written by Grande, Charles Anderson, Michael Foster, Tayla Parx, Tommy Brown and Victoria McCants. It was produced by Brown, Anderson and Foster. The lyrics mention some of Grande's past relationships, including Big Sean, Mac Miller, Pete Davidson, and Ricky Alvarez.[1]

The track broke a string of records, including the record for the most plays in a single day by a female artist on Spotify. Commercially, "Thank U, Next" has reached number one in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore, and number two in Norway and Scotland.

Background and release[edit]

On November 2, 2018, the singer tweeted lyrics of a mysterious track, after her ex-fiancé Pete Davidson joked about their broken engagement on Saturday Night Live. The following day, Grande tweeted more lyrics revealed that they indeed belong to a track named "Thank U, Next", which she described was lyrically and conceptually the opposite of her Dangerous Woman track "Knew Better". The singer also revealed "Thank U, Next" would serve as her fifth album's name, which she had been teasing for months on Twitter.[2]

The song was surprise released, with no prior announcement, on November 3, 2018.[3]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Thank U, Next" is a self-empowerment pop and R&B song that mentions many of Grande's past relationships.[4][5][6] It features elements of synth-pop in its production.[7][8] Grande revealed in an interview that "thank u, next..." is a phrase that she and fellow singer/songwriter Victoria Monét use.[9][10] The lyrics acknowledge several of her past relationships; "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" refer to Davidson and Mac Miller, respectively.[11]

The song is written in the key of D major in common time with a tempo of 108 beats per minute. Her voice ranges from a low Ab3 to a high Eb5.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Hugh McIntyre from Forbes.com said the song is "catchy while also being heartbreaking" and Grande "doesn’t just put on a brave face when she has to, she is living with an optimism few can muster. [The song] may sound deceptively simple upon first play, but when the lyrics sink in and context is applied, it becomes clear that it's ultimately a beautiful piece of music." [13] Markos Papadatos from Digital Journal said it's an "ode to gratitude, an anthem to a fresh start and new beginnings, where she is not afraid to be raw and vulnerable; Grande's vulnerability is the listener's reward." He also said the song is "sultry, cathartic and expressive" and praised Grande's breathy vocals as "pristine and heavenly, and it is evident the pop throne is still hers. "thank u, next" garners an A rating." [14]

Quinn Moreland from Pitchfork named the song the week's "Best New Track" and praised Grande's ability to talk about her past relationships with newfound serenity: "She doesn't stir the pot about her recent breakup, as the common media narrative might expect; instead she finds the value in letting go. It’s a generosity rarely spotted these days, when it is so much more tempting to clap back with vinegar instead of honey. Much like the “one girl swaying alone” twist in Lorde's 'Liability,' it's an eloquent display of inner strength and incisive self-awareness."[15] Spencer Kornhaber from The Atlantic said the song highlights Grande's ownership of not only the break up gossip, but also "her romantic life, her growth as a person, and her career as a maker of catchily inspirational bops". He remarked the lyrics are "feminist rewriting of the public narrative—about a woman defined by, and perhaps even brought down by, men—pulled off with lightness. The vibe is sly and swinging; a high hat in the chorus makes like a drum crash during a stand-up roast. [...] classic pop romanticism, cut with shit happens realism, spiked with trendy swagger-as-empowerment." [16]

Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone said despite what the title may suggest, the song is "surprisingly gracious, a balm and a sticky note reminder on the heart that sometimes it’s not about life getting better; it's about wanting to better yourself" and praised Grande for delivers one of the very few pop songs to actually promote real, true self-love."[17] Megan Reynolds from Jezebel stated the song is not the "anthem of a spurned lover, looking to destroy everything in her path. Instead, Grande took a page from the book of Mariah Carey: “thank u, next” is a motivational narrative powered by pettiness". She also remarked the song works beautifully around how unbothered it is "here is pettiness for mostly good with a dash of evil, subverting the traditional spurned lover subtweet of the sort preferred by an artist like Taylor Swift. Not all music that comes out of heartbreak has to be introspective, but it is often so much better when it is. Fame rushes people towards a sort of forced maturity in many ways. Pettiness, when used for good, is quite powerful."[18] Time magazine listed "Thank U, Next" as the 3rd best song of 2018.[19]

The song spawned an Internet meme inspired by the lyrics, "one taught me love/one taught me patience/one taught me pain".[20] The title of the song, "thank u, next" also began to be popularly used among those on the internet in a similar fashion to the way it is used in the song.[21]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Thank U, Next" was the first song by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since "Hello" by Adele (pictured) in 2015.

On November 5, 2018, "Thank U, Next" broke the record for the most streams received by a song in a single day by a female artist on Spotify, with 8.19 million streams globally, and increasingly extended it until November 9, when it received 9.6 million streams.[22][23] The song surpassed 100 million streams eleven days after its release on November 14, 2018, becoming the fastest song to do so on Spotify.[24]

"Thank U, Next" became the 32nd song to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart issue dated November 17, 2018, marking Grande's first chart-topper in the country and highest charting entry since "Problem" in 2014. The single also became Grande's eleventh top-ten entry overall and her seventh to debut in the top-ten, thus surpassing Lady Gaga and Rihanna who have amassed six among acts with the most top 10 debuts on the chart. The track became the first solo song by a female artist to top the US charts since Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)". It additionally was the first song by a lead female artist to debut atop the US charts since Adele's "Hello" in 2015.[25] "Thank U, Next" started at the Hot 100's summit powered by its number-one debut on the Billboard Digital Songs sales chart – Grande's second to do so in 2018 and fourth overall – having sold 81,000 digital downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, while drawing in 71 million US streams in its first week of availability ending November 8, allowing it to enter atop the Streaming Songs chart, becoming her first number one there as well. The song missed entering Billboard's Radio Songs chart in its first week, however drew in 11.3 million all-format radio audience impressions in the week ending November 11 due to early airplay.[26] Grande also extended her record and makes history for being the first artist to debut within the opening ten positions of the Hot 100 chart with every lead single—"The Way", "Problem", "Dangerous Woman", "No Tears Left to Cry" and "Thank U, Next"—of her first five studio albums.[27][28] In Canada, the track entered the Canadian Hot 100 at the top position on the chart issue dated November 17, 2018, earning Grande her first number one in the country and her eleventh top-ten single overall.[29] It debuted at number two on the Canadian Digital Song Sales chart.[30]

Across Europe, "Thank U, Next" achieved commercial success, debuting in the top ten of many of the nations it charted within. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at the top of the UK Singles Chart on November 9, 2018 for the week ending date November 15, 2018, with first-week sales of 73,000 units (including 6.7 million streams) according to the Official Charts Company, becoming Grande's third chart-topper there and first since "Bang Bang" in 2014. It additionally was the first solo song by a female artist to debut at the top of the UK charts since Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" in 2017.[31] In its second week on the chart, the track held the number one position selling another 95,000 units, an 30.13% increase from the previous week. The song also achieved the biggest weekly UK streaming numbers of any track in 2018, drawing in 9.76 million streams during the tracking period, the highest overall weekly numbers since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" in May 2017.[32] In Ireland, "Thank U, Next" debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart, becoming Grande's second song to do so in 2018 and third overall in the country. It remained at the top of the chart for a second consecutive week.[33] The song has also reached the top five of the charts in Hungary, the Netherlands (Single Top 100), Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as the top ten in Austria, Greece, and Switzerland.

In Oceania, "Thank U, Next" entered at the runner-up position on the Australian ARIA Charts and the New Zealand Singles Chart, becoming her ninth and eighth top-ten single on both charts, respectively.[34] The song later climbed to the top of the chart the following week in Australia and New Zealand, marking Grande's second number one in both countries.

Live performances[edit]

Grande performed the song alongside its co-producers Victoria Monét and Tayla Parx on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on November 7, 2018.[35] The performance paid homage to Grande's favorite movie, The First Wives Club (1996), recreating a scene in which the three leading female characters "clad in white suits [and] team up to sing an anthem of freedom in the wake of a life-changing breakup, bidding adieu to the men of their past and ushering in a new age of independence and personal growth."[36] Grande also performed her song "Breathin", from her album Sweetener.[35]

Personnel[edit]

Victoria Monét (pictured in 2017) provides backing vocals.

Credits adapted from Tidal.[37]

  • Ariana Grande – vocals, songwriting, vocal production
  • Tommy Brown – production
  • John Hanes – mixing assistance
  • Sean Klein – record engineering assistance
  • Victoria Monét – background vocals, production
  • Tayla Parx – background vocals, production
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Billy Hickey – record engineering
  • Brendan Morawski – record engineering

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Argentina (Argentina Hot 100)[38] 79
Australia (ARIA)[39] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[40] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[41] 18
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[42] 27
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[43] 1
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[44] 11
Denmark (Tracklisten)[45] 17
Estonia (IFPI)[46] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[47] 1
France (SNEP)[48] 47
Germany (Official German Charts)[49] 14
Greece International Digital Singles (IFPI)[50] 8
Hungary (Single Top 40)[51] 3
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[52] 4
Iceland (Tonlist)[53] 30
Ireland (IRMA)[54] 1
Italy (FIMI)[55] 24
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[56] 31
Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard)[57] 2
Malaysia (RIM)[58] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[59] 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[60] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[34] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[61] 2
Portugal (AFP)[62] 4
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[63] 2
Singapore (RIAS)[64] 1
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[65] 5
South Korea International Digital (Gaon)[66] 31
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[67] 49
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[68] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[69] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[70] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[71] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[72] 33

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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