Ariana Grande has the Number One, Two and Three songs — “7 Rings,” “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” and “Thank U, Next” — on the Hot 100 this week. No artist since the Beatles in 1964 — with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” — laid claim to the three most popular songs in the country at once, Billboard reports.
Thank U, Next continues to be a defining moment for the artist after a turbulent year. Grande’s fifth studio album is her second number one record in six months and at 360,000 total copies sold, the best sales week of her career. Before tying the Fab Four’s record, Savan Kotecha — a frequent Ariana collaborator and co-writer of four Thank U, Next tracks — presciently compared the singer to another Sixties rock icon.
“The way that Jimi Hendrix was with a guitar, Ariana Grande is like that with vocals,” Kotecha told Rolling Stone. “When the producer or engineer is not understanding what she wants [from the vocal arrangement], she just goes, “do you mind if I sit and do it?” She’ll go into Pro Tools and fix it. She’s a master of the craft. I’ve been around some of the greatest singers of all time. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The latest album was recorded following the tragic death of Grande’s ex-boyfriend, the rapper Mac Miller. She joined collaborators Kotecha, Max Martin and Victoria Monét and ended up making Thank U, Next in two weeks. It is also notable that nine of the album’s 12 songs have two or more female writers — a first on a Grande project. As the collaborators explained to Rolling Stone: “In My Head” took just 12 hours from start to finish, according to Denisia Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney. With “7 Rings,” “as soon as we decided we were gonna use that melody [“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music], words started to fall into place,” says Njomza Vitia, a co-writer on both “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings. “It all happened so fast.” And “NASA” was written that same day.