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Ariana Grande "Thank U, Next" Lyrics

Dive Into the Self-Confident Lyrics of Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next"

If you haven't been paying attention, Ariana Grande is back in the headlines for both her personal life and her music. Following her abruptly ended engagement with Pete Davidson, the pop star has been keeping a fairly low profile, appearing on the A Very Wicked Halloween special but otherwise quietly attending to business as usual. That's why the release of "Thank U, Next," her new single, was a bit of a surprise. And digging into the lyrics, well — there's a lot to unpack.

Something important to keep in mind: the song dropped on Nov. 3, only minutes before Davidson was scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live. In promo clips for the episode, he'd made fun of their breakup, leading Ariana to subtweet him in a pair of since-deleted tweets. "Thank U, Next" is a subtweet in song form: no one is under any illusions what these lyrics are about. Let's look at the first verse:

"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"

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Yup, Ariana just listed her famous exes and her thoughts on each one. To recap:

  • She dated Big Sean from 2014 to 2015 before they broke up over conflicting tour schedules (long distance is tough for celebs too!).
  • Ricky Alvarez was her backup-dancer-turned-boyfriend from 2015 to 2016. The songs "True Love" and "Moonlight" were written about him.
  • Malcolm, better known as Mac Miller, was the ex-boyfriend she reportedly stayed on friendly terms with; the "angel" line has a double meaning since Miller died in September 2018.
  • And Pete, well, that one is self-explanatory, but kudos to Ariana for being gracious and "thankful"!

Although the chorus of "thank you, next" is definitely poking fun at the way pop culture reports on her relationships, Ariana also takes a straightforward, sweet tone of self-love and acceptance with a later lyric: "Plus, I met someone else / We havin' better discussions / I know they say I move on too fast / But this one gon' last /'Cause her name is Ari."

"Thank U, Next" somehow manages to throw shade at the "string of boyfriends" narrative that's been thrown on Ariana and be an anthem of self-confidence all at once. Check out the full lyrics ahead:

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

One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I'm so amazing
I've loved and I've lost
But that's not what I see
So, look what I got
Look what you taught me
And for that, I say

Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next
I'm so f*ckin' grateful for my ex
Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next (Next)
Thank you, next (Next)
I'm so f*ckin' . . .

Spend more time with my friends
I ain't worried 'bout nothin'
Plus, I met someone else
We havin' better discussions
I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon' last
'Cause her name is Ari
And I'm so good with that (So good with that)

She taught me love (Love)
She taught me patience (Patience)
How she handles pain (Pain)
That sh*t's amazing (Yeah, she's amazing)
I've loved and I've lost (Yeah, yeah)
But that's not what I see (Yeah, yeah)
'Cause look what I've found (Yeah, yeah)
Ain't no need for searching, and for that, I say

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Thank you)
I'm so f*ckin' grateful for my ex
Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Said thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Next)
I'm so f*ckin' grateful for my ex

Thank you, next
Thank you, next
Thank you, next
I'm so f*cking . . .

One day I'll walk down the aisle
Holding hands with my mama
I'll be thanking my dad
'Cause she grew from the drama
Only wanna do it once, real bad
Gon' make that sh*t last
God forbid something happens
Least this song is a smash (Song is a smash)

I've got so much love (Love)
Got so much patience (Patience)
I've learned from the pain (Pain)
I turned out amazing (Turned out amazing)
I've loved and I've lost (Yeah, yeah)
But that's not what I see (Yeah, yeah)
'Cause look what I've found (Yeah, yeah)
Ain't no need for searching
And for that, I say

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next
I'm so f*ckin' grateful for my ex
Thank you, next (Thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Said thank you, next)
Thank you, next (Next)
I'm so f*ckin' grateful for my ex

Thank you, next
Thank you, next
Thank you, next
Yeah, yee
Thank you, next
Thank you, next
Thank you, next
Yeah, yee

Image Source: Getty / Kevin Winter
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