Ever since her days at Nickelodeon, Ariana Grande has been in the tabloids. Aside from her undeniably amazing voice, the press has always seemed to follow her relationship status. From Jai Brooks, to Nathan Sykes, Big Sean, to Ricky Alvarez, to Mac Miller, to Pete Davidson—the list goes on— Ariana has never been afraid to express her passion through love ballads.
I remember when the video of her crying during a live performance of "Honeymoon Avenue" went viral after her breakup with Jai. As heartbreaking as it was to watch, it was one of the few times that audiences got to see a celebrity be vulnerable in a space of creativity.
Much like Taylor Swift, Ariana is often associated with her relationships. She's always written love songs and was never ashamed to admit her trusting and loving nature. Her music seems to embrace this quality and celebrate it. On the Dangerous Woman album, for example, songs like "Greedy" and "Thinking Bout You" express deep longing and admiration for someone. Yet the album name is about one thing: being a woman. And part of being a woman is having desires and feelings of love for other people— that doesn't make you any less of a strong woman. If anything, it is dangerous because you're putting your heart on the line— that takes some bravery.
Just because Ariana has love and respect for others, doesn't make her have any less for herself. She's proven time and time again that no break up will end you. She's not afraid to love, but she's not afraid to be single.
In her newest song, "thank u, next," which received over 100 million streams within the first 11 days upon release, she sings about the things that each of her exes taught her. I challenge everyone to think of what their last relationship taught them. She epitomizes the idea of taking positives out of every situation— to look at what you're gaining instead of losing.
Right after Mac Miller's death correlating with her engagement to Pete, she came under suspicion in the public eye. I do not tolerate people claiming that she "killed" Mac. For one, addiction and substance abuse is a disease— it's no one's fault that it happened. While having a support system is crucial during times of relapse, ultimately relationships can suffer and that's okay. We'll never know the reasons behind their breakup. All we can take away from it is that suffering occurs on both sides of the relationship when addiction is involved.
In any case, she was able to find love after pain and then lost it again. Yet, she still remains unapologetically Ariana...just with some new skills to add to her resume. As she sings…
If Ariana can survive 22 people dying in a terrorist attack at her concert, being blamed for her ex's death, a failed engagement, and hit No.1 on Billboard's Hot 100 all within 18 months, I can do anything.