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How Ariana Grande Dominated Pop Music in 2018

From Ariana Grande to Camila Cabello, Brittany Spanos and Rob Sheffield look back at the state of pop music on Rolling Stone Music Now podcast

Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium, in Los Angeles2018 Wango Tango - Show, Los Angeles, USA - 02 Jun 2018

Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Brittany Spanos and Rob Sheffield stopped by our SiriusXM studio for a recent episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, which takes a wide-ranging look back at an odd year in pop — which was, in large part, a year of Ariana Grande. Sheffield calls Grande’s “Thank U, Next” one of the best break-up songs of all time (and half-jokingly compares it to John Lennon’s solo debut), and the panel discusses Grande’s skill at navigating the current media environment with a nimbleness that’s more like a rapper than a traditional pop star.

The episode also touches on the rise of Camila Cabello, who built brilliantly on the success of “Havana.” Also under discussion: Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana Del Rey, Hayley Kiyoko, Taylor Swift, the unexpectedly widespread influence of John Mayer on young male pop singer/songwriters, the burgeoning trend of “self-care pop,” the greatness of Kacey Musgraves (both on her Golden Hour record and on tour with Harry Styles), the return of Mariah Carey, the unexpected quality of Rita Ora’s new album and much more.

To hear the whole discussion, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt,on iTunes or Spotify, and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Ice Cube, Neil Young, Julian Casablancas, Johnny Marr, Fleetwood Mac, Donald Fagen, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and many more. Tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.

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