Ariana Grande delivers a sleek sendoff to her exes on the singer’s surprise new single “Thank U, Next,” which arrived without notice just moments before the latest episode of Saturday Night Live aired on the East Coast.
Grande opens the song by name-checking four of her high-profile boyfriends – Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Mac Miller and, most recently, Pete Davidson – providing a quick and sometimes scathing overview of each relationship.
“Thought I’d end up with Sean / But he wasn’t a match / Wrote some songs about Ricky / Now I listen and laugh,” Grande sings. “Even almost got married / And for Pete I’m so thankful / Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm / Cause he was an angel.”
Grande continues, “One taught me love / One taught me patience / And one taught me pain / Now I’m so amazing” before dropping the hook with a tongue-in-cheek chorus, “Thank you, next / I’m so fucking thankful for my ex.”
Grande previously teased “Thank U, Next” the song (and potentially album) on social media Saturday after first mentioning the phrase in a since-deleted tweet that took issue with Davidson using his SNL platform to poke fun of himself and their former relationship.
“For somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh,” Grande tweeted Thursday after an SNL commercial aired where Davidson jokingly proposed to musical guest Maggie Rogers, a reference to his own nixed engagement to Grande. “Thank u, next.”
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Although “Thank U, Next” appears to be a not-so-veiled shot at Davidson – the actor reportedly had an entire SNL sketch dedicated to Grande that was cut from the latest episode, which could explain the single’s pre-SNL arrival – the singer tweeted of her new song, “No drags…. no shade….. jus love, gratitude, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness … and growth.”
Davidson did briefly touch on his and Grande’s breakup to close out his appearance on SNL‘s Weekend Update. “I know some of you are curious about the breakup, but the truth is sometimes things just don’t work out and that’s okay. [Grande] is a wonderful, strong person and I genuinely wish her all the happiness in the world,” Davidson said. “Now please, go vote on Tuesday.”