Ariana Grande talked anxiety, Manchester and Madonna and performed songs from her Sweetener with an all-female orchestra on the singer’s hour-long BBC special, which premiered Thursday night.
During the interview portion of the special, Grande talked at length about mental health and her own struggles with anxiety.
“It feels so silly because I feel like the luckiest, most blessed girl in the world, so I almost feel guilty that I have [anxiety] because it’s just in your head and it’s just so crazy how powerful it is, no matter how good things are, it can totally change everything,” Grande said.
“You have ups and downs and sometimes you’ll go weeks at a time where you will be crushing it and there will be no anxiety. Then something will happen that can trigger it and then you have a couple of down days.”
Grande also spoke about Madonna’s influence; the Material Girl made a surprise appearance on Sweetener‘s empowering “God Is a Woman.”
“It was a huge honor to have her put her blessing on it because she paved the way for me and also every other female artist that there ever will be after her,” Grande said.
“If you’re doing something, she’d done it first. Madonna has done it first, she thought of it first, she fought the fight longer, harder and she’s still fighting. So I felt like I just wanted to include her and pay homage to her on that record.”
Grande added that she personally texted Madonna to recruit her for the single; a few minutes later, Madonna texted back and agreed.
The special filmed in early September, just prior to Mac Miller’s death and her breakup with Pete Davidson.
Watch Ariana Grande at the BBC in its entirety below: