The singer opened up about their relationship in a recent profile.
The past few years of Ariana Grande’s life have ushered in the highest of highs (Engagements! Broken records! High ponytail domination!) and the lowest of lows (a tragic attack at her 2017 concert in Manchester and the death of her longtime friend and ex-boyfriend Mac Miller this past September).
In a recent interview with Vogue, the chart-topping singer opened up about her quick ascent in the industry and the personal travails that have come with it.
Though she’s still dealing with the trauma of the Manchester Arena bombing that claimed 23 lives, Grande insists it’s not her story to tell. “It’s not my trauma,” she told the publication. “It’s those families’. It’s their losses, and so it’s hard to just let it all out without thinking about them reading this and reopening the memory for them.”
“I have a lot to say that could probably help people that I do want to share, but I have a lot that I still need to process myself and will probably never be ready to talk about,” she explained.
Her latest album, Thank U, Next, was a catharsis of sorts, written in the days following Miller’s death and her split from then-fiancé Pete Davidson.
“If I’m completely honest, I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad,” Grande said of the album’s origin. “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. I think that this is the first album and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this s—.’”
Grande calls her grief over Miller’s death “pretty all-consuming,” though she admits her loss doesn’t overwrite “the years of work and fighting and trying” that colored their relationship. “By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, f—. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming . . . less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”
Speaking to her whirlwind romance with Saturday Night Live’s Davidson, Grande called the relationship an “amazing distraction” following her split from Miller. “It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff,” she confesses.
Grande, who recently broke down on stage while performing in St. Louis, is the first to concede the difficulty of her highly personal job. “It’s hard to sing songs that are about wounds that are so fresh. It’s fun, it’s pop music, and I’m not trying to make it sound like anything that it’s not, but these songs to me really do represent some heavy s—.”
And though she’ll be touring through the end of the year, Grande has some other major projects on the horizon, including the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack (which she’s writing and producing), a role in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix adaptation of The Prom, and a potential “big acting job she’s hoping to land, though she doesn’t want to jinx it.”