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The “thank u, next” singer admits that her career is going great, but “as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f–k I’m doing.”
Ariana Grande was moved nearly to tears while accepting the Woman of the Year award at Billboard’s Women in Music event Thursday night.
“I want to say that I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life,” Grande said upon accepting the award, referencing her career highs coupled with the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the dissolution of her engagement to “SNL” star Pete Davidson.
The “thank u, next” singer was presented the honor by Pattie LaBelle, who described her as “all that and a bag of chips,” per People, but Grande was quick to point out that she doesn’t have it all figured out quite as much as some might think.
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“I think a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now, I guess — Woman of the Year — an artist that could be at her peak, reaching her, you know, whatever, and think, you know, ‘She’s really got her shit together,’ Ya know? Like, ‘She’s really on it.’ Like, ‘She’s got it all.'”
Grande, who is enjoying her first-ever number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “thank u, next” conceded that professionally she is firing on all cylinders and at least on that front, she really does have it all right now.
“But as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f–k I’m doing,” she admitted. “I just want to say if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter’s gonna bring, you’re not alone in that.”
While opening up in such a vulnerable way on a very public platform, Grande began to visibly tear up before chastising herself. “Ew, I’m not gonna cry. That’s really stupid.”
Instead, she ended on a positive note, for herself and her future. And it was a message that anyone who might find themselves going through a rough should consider and embrace. No matter how things may look right now, it’s about finding perspective, learning about yourself through every experience and coming out the other side a better you.
“I’m really looking forward to embracing whatever happens; whatever comes my way,” Grande told the assembled audience of female superstars. “I look forward to hopefully learning to give some of the love and forgiveness that I’ve given away so frivolously and easily to men in the past to myself hopefully this year.”
She also learned that she’s not going to find happiness in her relationship, because she already has it. “I have everything I’ve ever dreamt of having and as of late I’ve discovered that it’s the things I’ve always had and the people I’ve always had that still make me the happiest.”
Gaining a healthy sense of self-love, and appreciation for the goodness in her life even without a relationship is ironically the perfect mental space for Grande to be in to find and recognize a good relationship. Not that we’re recommending she rush into anything.
Grande dated Mac Miller for two years before ending things this past May. She then quickly struck up a whirlwind romance with Davidson culminating in a surprise engagement. Then Miller committed suicide in September, which rocked Grande to her core, and her engagement with Davidson ended a month later.
“thank u, next” is a tribute to her past relationships, including Miller and Davidson. In it, Grande declares that she’s starting a new relationship … with herself. The song resonated immediately with her fans, who helped catapult it to the top of the charts.
The single’s release was followed by a highly-publicized music video paying tribute to modern teen comedies, including “Mean Girls,” “Legally Blonde,” “13 Going on 30” and “Bring It On.” The music video became the biggest debut in YouTube history with 55.4 million viewers within 24 hours, according to Billboard.