Ariana Grande appears on the latest cover of Billboard as the recipient of its 2018 Woman of the Year award. Even the most casual pop culture fan hasn’t escaped the high- and lowlights of Grande’s year: Her swift engagement and subsequent breakup with SNL‘s Pete Davidson; her most recent album Sweetener, released in August; the sudden death of her friend and ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in September. As in past interviews, Grande steers away from most sensitive personal topics, though she does say she shared her namedropping post-breakup hit “thank u, next” with Davidson before its release.
Most notably, it appears Grande’s next album, also titled Thank U, Next, is well on the way to completion. According to Billboard’s Natalie Weiner, the new album is composed of “deep, bass-driven bangers with trap beats alternating with airy, sad ballads.” Grande recorded much of it near her home in New York City, and it now awaits further input from pop superproducer and frequent collaborator Max Martin. There’s no release date yet, though quotes like, “If I want to tour two albums at once, I’m going to tour two albums at once” point towards Grande’s upcoming Sweetener tour, set for March through June 2019.
Elsewhere in the piece, Grande speaks about her wish “to put out music in the way that a rapper does”—that is, spontaneously and with a less regimented promotional schedule. She also describes herself as made up of “60 percent pink Veuve Clicquot” and recounts an only-normal-for-a-pop-star “retail therapy” trip to Tiffany & Co.: “You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring.” Read the full story here.