To say that Ariana Grande “bounced back” after the devastation of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing would be an understatement. An artist who constantly promotes optimism and love in and away from the music itself, she not only put together the star-studded One Love Manchester benefit show (featuring Niall Horan, Stevie Wonder, the Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher, and Pharrell Williams, among others) just one month after the attack, but then worked with Pharrell and legendary songwriter Max Martin to craft her uplifting new record, Sweetener.
She’s always been a huge name, seemingly reaching her peak moment with “Side to Side (feat. Nicki Minaj),” but for some reason she hasn’t felt more in the spotlight than right now. To write something that just lists off the impressive or more saccharine moments of the record, however; seems pointless, when we could be spending that time in awe of Ariana Grande’s rise to the top of pop superstardom.
With a bevy of Pharrell beats and a newfound love with fiancé and SNL comedian Pete Davidson, Grande’s Sweetener is a celebration of the strength of humanity, and the ability to rise up from tragedy. Tracks like “Breathin” should go on to be radio mainstays for months, “Better Off” showcases her ability to blend her talents with those of well-known hip-hop producer Hit-Boy (who you would never have guessed produced this track), and “No Tears Left to Cry” is a song that the singer will most likely continue to perform decades into her career. Right now, there’s no reason not to love Ariana Grande, and at just 25 years old, it’s only up from here.
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