Ariana Grande Poses For ‘Billboard,’ Reveals Title Of Her 5th LP

Album Review: Ariana's 'Sweetener'
Ariana Grande broadens her horizons on 'Sweetener'... to mixed results.

Ariana Grande lands on the cover of Billboard (she is their Woman of the Year) and strikes a pose for an arty photo shoot by Miller Mobley. The 25-year-old also opens up about her musical journey. She will return to the soulful sound of Yours Truly on album five, which has the working title of Thank U, Next. “We started at home base — me,” the hitmaker says of her 2013 debut, “and then we went in this place where I kind of played the game for a little bit, and did the big, big, big pop records.”

“Then we slowly started incorporating my soul back into it — and that’s where we’ve landed again with Thank U, Next.” Amazingly, the bulk of the album was recorded in a week with longtime collaborators Tommy Brown, Social House, Victoria Monét, Tayla Parx and Doug Middlebrook. Ariana describes the project as the result of “feminine energy and champagne and music and laughter and crying.” As for the direction? “[It’s] not particularly uplifting… a lot of it sounds really upbeat, but it’s actually a super sad chapter.” There are a couple of exceptions.

“7 Rings,” for example, is an ode to friendship. “It was a… challenging fall day in New York,” Ariana reveals. “Me and my friends went to Tiffany’s together, just because we needed some retail therapy. You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring… that’s where the song idea came from.” Click through the chart-topper’s Billboard shoot up top and real the full interview here.

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