Ariana Grande is the latest celeb to grace to cover of Vogue and is opening up like never before about the pain and coping mechanisms she’s acquired in order to deal with the overwhelming tragedies that have marred the past two years of her life.
For every success Grande has enjoyed since 2017, there’s been a considerably greater tragedy the 26-year-old has been forced to endure. She’s released two albums that went platinum and tied the Beatles record by having the top three songs on the Billboard chart at once, but many of the tracks were inspired by the horrific Manchester bombing that claimed the lives of 23 people, the death of Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, and the end of her engagement with Pete Davidson. In her new profile with the fashion mag, Grande is opening up about turning her pain in music, her unhealthy attempt to mask the pain of Miller’s death, and the reasoning behind her super fast engagement to Davidson.
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For a woman who recently turned 26 and is enjoying the most successful chapter of her career, it has also been a spectacularly, and publicly, brutal couple of years for @arianagrande. “I’m a person who’s been through a lot and doesn’t know what to say about any of it to myself, let alone the world. I see myself onstage as this perfectly polished, great-at-my-job entertainer, and then in situations like this I’m just this little basket-case puddle of figuring it out.” She laughs through her sniffles. “I have to be the luckiest girl in the world, and the unluckiest, for sure. I’m walking this fine line between healing myself and not letting the things that I’ve gone through be picked at before I’m ready, and also celebrating the beautiful things that have happened in my life and not feeling scared that they’ll be taken away from me because trauma tells me that they will be, you know what I mean?” Read the full August cover story in the link in our bio. Photographed by #AnnieLeibovitz, styled by @tonnegood, written by @robertjhaskell, Vogue, August 2019.
While the bulk of the interview focuses on the darker moments from Grande’s recent past, the singer does touch on lighter moments, including her love of Judy Garland (“I would stand in front of the TV and mimic her body movements. I was always fascinated. She carried herself in a way that was so protected and soft and Judy”) and her love of seeing drag queens dressed as Grande and performing her songs (“Go to your local drag bar, and you’ll see it. That’s, like, the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s better than winning a Grammy”).
The entire article is a must-read, but here are five of the biggest reveals.
1. ON RELEASING LESS SUBSTANTIAL MUSIC TO BUILD HER CAREER
Grande admitted that her first two albums included songs that were written simply to grow her audience, giving her leverage to later record music that was more honest and more raw. “There was a two-album period where I was doing half the songs for me and half the songs to solidify my spot in pop music. A lot of my singles have been hilariously lacking in substance. You’re talking to someone who put ‘Side to Side’ out as a single. I love that song, but it’s just a fun song about sex.”
2. ON THE ONE LOVE MANCHESTER CONCERT
Although the One Love Manchester concert raised millions for the families of those who were killed at Grande’s May 2017 concert, the singer acknowledges that money won’t bring back loved ones. “I’m proud that we were able to raise a lot of money with the intention of giving people a feeling of love or unity, but at the end of the day, it didn’t bring anyone back. Everyone was like, ‘Wow, look at this amazing thing,’ and I was like, ‘What the fuck are you guys talking about?’ We did the best we could, but on a totally real level we did nothing.”
3. ON COPING WITH MILLER’S DEATH THROUGH MUSIC AND ALCOHOL
In the wake of Miller’s accidental overdose, Grande said she began self-medicating with alcohol. “But if I’m completely honest, I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad. I don’t really remember how it started or how it finished, or how all of a sudden there were 10 songs on the board.”
4. ON PETE DAVIDSON’S DISTRACTION RELATIONSHIP
Grande and SNL actor Pete Davidson had a whirlwind relationship in 2018 that included a quickie engagement, with the singer admitting that the thought of marrying someone after a month of dating was born out of grief. “And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him.”
5. ON DEALING WITH TRAUMA
Grande has spoken in the past about dealing with PTSD from the Manchester shooting and says she’s continuing to work on not constantly expecting the worst to happen. “I have to be the luckiest girl in the world, and the unluckiest, for sure. I’m walking this fine line between healing myself and not letting the things that I’ve gone through be picked at before I’m ready, and also celebrating the beautiful things that have happened in my life and not feeling scared that they’ll be taken away from me because trauma tells me that they will be, you know what I mean?”