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The Ariana Grande Effect

Photo courtesy of Republic Records

Photo courtesy of Republic Records

Elyssa Dalaker, Web Staffer

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You’d have to be living under a rock not to recognize the cover for Ariana Grande’s latest #1 album, thank u, next. It’s the eagerly anticipated, confident breakup album currently taking the world by storm. Following the release of the album, Grande quickly snagged the top 3 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, tying The Beatles who last broke the record in 1964. She currently boasts an arsenal of titles and top spots, occupying the #1 slot on the Billboard 200 charts with thank u, next and a not-so-small army of over 56,000,000 listeners on Spotify alone. But…where exactly did all this buzz come from? And, at risk of angering about 56,000,000 people– is it all warranted?

 

Grande is no stranger to the music scene– after her breakout role on Victorious came to an end in 2013, she quickly assumed the role of resident pop princess, releasing a string of successful albums and touring a chain of sold-out arena shows. But it was only after her personal life took a turn for the worse that Grande rocketed into next-level superstardom; the Manchester tragedy, her failed engagement to SNL’s Pete Davidson, and the loss of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, while wreaking havoc on her mental health, only thrust her farther into the spotlight and higher up on the charts. Now, everything the girl does, from tattoo translation fails (*cough* charcoal grill *cough*) to tweeting annoyingly relatable jokes about loving food and being alone is subject to a media circus.

 

LINK: https://www.bustle.com/p/ariana-grande-said-her-personal-life-is-nonexistent-it-makes-total-sense-why-video-15985894

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been caught jamming in the shower to thank u, next (my current favorites are “bloodline” and “in my head”), but I’m also hesitant to hop on the Grande bandwagon. This newfound slew of unprecedented popularity is reminiscent of a new era of celebrity worship rather than a new era of musical talent. Yes, the lyrics on thank u, next are more personal than any of her previous work (“ghostin” comes to mind), but simplistic beats that are peppered with personal tidbits just to rack up some streams just doesn’t seem like music worthy of all these titles. There are so many underappreciated artists in the industry perfecting and expanding their craft who deserve the same recognition (the 2 artists who accused her of ripping off their work in “7 rings” come to mind) that Grande seems to get with every tweet she sends.

 

It’s definitely true that my screaming into the internet void about Ariana Grande’s music isn’t going to strip away any of her crowns. However, it’s worth considering whether the “Ariana Grande Effect” is reflective of good music or of an unrelenting slew of Buzzfeed articles. And here’s a hot take: If I hear “Thought I’d end up with Sean,” start up on my car radio one more time, I’m throwing it out the window.

 

You can listen to thank u, next here (although you probably already have):

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The Ariana Grande Effect