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Sweetener is Ariana Grande's fourth studio album. It was released on August 17, 2018, through Republic Records.[1] The album recording started from July 2016, and finished in May 2018.[2][3]

Background

Following the release of Grande's third studio album, Dangerous Woman on May 20, 2016, which was met with positive reviews, Grande confirmed she began working and writing on the album on her Snapchat and Twitter later that month.[4] Recording sessions began on May 6, 2016 and continued through the summer.

On November 13, 2016, Grande confirmed on Snapchat that she was done with her fourth album. She later clarified by saying, "I didn't mean to make an album, and I don't know if it's done at all, but I just have a bunch of songs that I really really like. I've been working a lot and have been creating and feeling inspired."[5][6][7] On January 10, 2017, Grande confirmed again by tweeting that she was done with the album, but later she deleted the tweet.[8]

On March 5, 2017, Grande confirmed during the soundcheck of her Dangerous Woman Tour concert in Toronto that the songs she had previously teased ("She Got Her Own", "My Way" and "Sober") won't be on the album. In a Q&A, Grande said that she wanted to have 10 tracks on the album.[9] On March 6, 2017, Grande confirmed during a Q&A that she had been working with Pharrell Williams for several months.[10]

On September 18, 2017, Riccardo Marcuzzo uploaded a photo on his Instagram Stories editing a song for Grande.[11] Scooter Braun told Variety that the album has a more mature sound.[12] Pharrell Williams told LA Times: “The things that [Ariana] has to say on this album, it's pretty next-level.”[13] On November 27, 2017, Urban/R&B producers Hitmaka and A1 revealed they produced a beat for Grande.[14] On December 13, 2017, Grande uploaded a photo and a video on her Instagram Story in the recording studio for the album.[15] On December 31, 2017, Grande shared a snippet from the album on her Instagram, which was later revealed to be a track titled "Get Well Soon".[16] Grande's close friend, Colleen Ballinger, said in a Q&A that she has heard some of the album.[17] Charlie Walk, from Republic Records, also said about the album: "She's making some music that we haven't heard before from her, different types of stuff that I think is gonna be really super important for the 2018 music scene."[18] Frankie Grande, Ariana's brother, said: "It's the best thing that ever happened on earth... she's unbelievable... It's unreal".[19]

On March 2, 2018, the album was reported to be complete. It was also revealed that Pharrell Williams and Max Martin each produced half of the album, and Grande wrote or co-wrote every track.[20] On April 9, 2018, it was reported that Grande was set to release the lead single from the album on April 27, 2018 and it was revealed that Savan Kotecha worked on the album.[21] On April 16, 2018, it was reported that Grande may move up the lead single release to April 20, 2018, due to labelmate Post Malone's album being released on April 27.[22] On April 17, 2018, Grande announced that the album's lead single, "No Tears Left To Cry", would be released on April 20, 2018.[23]
AG4-tracklist-1

Piece of paper from the music video for "No Tears Left To Cry" showing the tracks featured in Sweetener.

In its music video, released the same day, one scene showed a piece of paper with the title "Track List" at the top[24][25], however, Grande said that the songs weren't in order.[26]

On May 1, 2018, during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Grande revealed the title of the album, Sweetener. She said the meaning behind the title is "kind of about like bringing light to a situation, or to someone's life, or somebody else who brings light to your life, or sweetening the situation."[27] Grande also revealed three songs featured in the album: "God Is A Woman", "Raindrops" and "The Light Is Coming".[28] On May 17, 2018, in an interview with TIME Magazine, Grande announced a new song, "Get Well Soon", as well as confirming that she took the lead on songwriting for the album and experimented with her sound.[29] On May 21, 2018, Grande posted a snippet on her Instagram story,[30] and revealed that she had added more songs to the album.[31] On May 25, 2018, Grande confirmed that she had added 5 more songs to the album.[32] On May 27, 2018, Grande posted a snippet of "The Light Is Coming", revealing that the song features Nicki Minaj.[33] On May 29, 2018, Grande confirmed that the album will have fifteen tracks, three of which will be collaborations.[34][35]

On June 2, 2018, Grande announced that the album will be available for pre-order on June 20, 2018, and "The Light Is Coming" will be released with it.[36] On June 17, 2018, Grande revealed that she will be releasing a new song on July 20, 2018.[37] "God Is A Woman" was announced as the album's second single.[38] However, on July 12, 2018, Grande announced that it will be released on July 13, 2018.[39] On July 15, 2018, Grande used the Sweetener Instagram account and began slowly revealing the album track list.[40]

After its release, the album received universal acclaim from music critics and also has broken the US Spotify record for biggest opening day by a female artist.[41]

Recording

She posted on her Snapchat and tweeted that she was in the studio on May 6, 2016 - June 29, 2016 - July 13, 2016. She was not able to record between May 28, 2016 and early June 2016 due to throat and sinus infection.

On December 13, 2017, old photos of Grande recording surfaced on Twitter. To shut down rumors about them being recent, Grande posted photos of herself working on the album on her Instagram story.

On December 28, 2017, Grande posted four photos and two videos of her in the studio.[42]

On June 7, 2018, Grande revealed that the first song recorded for the album was its title track "Sweetener", in early July 2016.[2] She also revealed that the last song to be recorded was an interlude (later revealed to be titled "Pete Davidson"), in May 2018.[3]

Cover art

SweetenerCoverNTLTCMV

Sweetener album cover art teased in a scene from the music video for its lead single, "No Tears Left To Cry".

On May 29, 2018, Grande confirmed that the album cover will be in color and that her eyes will be open.[52][53]

On June 12, 2018, an Instagram account for Sweetener was created and began slowly revealing the album cover as a countdown to its pre-order, with one segment being posted every 25 hours.[54] However, on June 18, 2018, the cover art was leaked by iTunes, so the last three segments were all posted on the same day.

Grande said about the cover art: "I showed Aaron a photo and he was sitting opposite me and he said 'I even love it upside down' and that was kind of it for me at the time I had been feeling very 'upside down' for a while and the simplicity of that was like 'oh duh wow my best friend [is] a genius', everything clicked after that".[55]

Singles

The lead single, "No Tears Left To Cry", was released on April 20, 2018.[23]

The second single, "God Is A Woman", was released on July 13, 2018.[38][39]

Promotional singles

A promotional single, "The Light Is Coming", featuring Nicki Minaj, was released on June 20, 2018, along with the pre-order of the album.[36]

Promotion

Ariana grande at the sweetener sessions 1

Grande performing at The Sweetener Sessions on August 20, 2018

Main article: The Sweetener Sessions

On August 8, 2018, Grande announced a series of promotional concerts in the United States, titled The Sweetener Sessions, which took place on August 20, 22 and 25 in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively. The tour was in partnership with American Express.[56] On August 28, 2018, a London concert was announced in partnership with Capital Up Close, which will take place on September 4, 2018.[57]

Commercial performance

Sweetener debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 with 231,000 album-equivalent units, of which 127,000 were pure album sales.[58][59] This is Grande's third studio album to debut at the top of the chart, since her previous Dangerous Woman debuted and peaked at No. 2, while Yours Truly and My Everything both debuted at No. 1 in 2013 and 2014, respectively. 6 tracks of the album debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the same week: "Breathin" (No. 22), "Sweetener" (No. 55), "Everytime" (No. 62), "R.E.M" (No. 72), "Goodnight N Go" (No. 87) and "Pete Davidson" (No. 99).

It also debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums chart, moving 45,000 album-equivalent units.[60][61] It became her second number-one album in the UK, and her fastest selling album to date.[62] In Australia, the album became Grande's third number one on the ARIA Albums Chart and all 15 of its tracks placing on the ARIA Singles Chart in the same week.[63][64][65] In Finland, the album debuted at No. 1 being her first album to reach the top there.[66] The album also reached the top of the charts in several other markets, including Austria, Canada,[67], Czech Republic,[68] the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium,[69][70] Finland,[71] Poland,[72] Ireland,[73] New Zealand,[74] Norway,[75] Scotland[76], Portugal[77], Spain,[78] Sweden and Switzerland.[79]

In Germany and Japan, the album debuted at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.[80][81]

Trivia

  • The first song recorded was "Sweetener".[2]
  • The last song recorded was "Pete Davidson".[3]
  • All track titles are stylized in lowercase apart from "God Is A Woman", which is stylized in sentence case, and "R.E.M".
  • The album cover is Grande's first that isn't in black and white.
  • There are 30 unreleased songs that were intended for the album, including "My Way", "Sober", "She Got Her Own" and "You".[82]

Gallery

Photo shoot

Booklet

Track listing

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Raindrops (An Angel Cried)" Explicit icon Bob Gaudio Ilya, Max Martin 0:37
2. "Blazed" (featuring Pharrell Williams) Explicit icon Pharrell Williams, Maxine Colon Williams 3:16
3. "The Light Is Coming" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Explicit icon Williams, Onika Maraj, Grande Williams 3:48
4. "R.E.M" Explicit icon Williams Williams 4:05
5. "God Is A Woman" Explicit icon Grande, Salmanzadeh, Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Göransson Ilya 3:17
6. "Sweetener" Explicit icon Williams, Grande Williams 3:28
7. "Successful" Explicit icon Williams Williams 3:47
8. "Everytime" Explicit icon Grande, Salmanzadeh, Kotecha, Martin Martin, Ilya 2:52
9. "Breathin" Explicit icon Grande, Salmanzadeh, Kotecha, Peter Svensson Ilya 3:18
10. "No Tears Left To Cry" Grande, Martin, Salmanzadeh, Kotecha Martin, Ilya 3:25
11. "Borderline" (featuring Missy Elliott) Explicit icon Williams, Melissa Elliott Williams 2:57
12. "Better Off" Explicit icon Tommy Brown, Chauncey Hollis, Brian Malik Baptiste, Kim "Kaydence" Krysiuk, Grande Hit-Boy, Brown, Baptiste 2:51
13. "Goodnight N Go" Explicit icon Brown, Charles Anderson, Michael Foster, Grande, Victoria McCants Brown, Anderson, Foster 3:09
14. "Pete Davidson" Explicit icon Grande, Brown, Anderson, McCants Brown, Anderson 1:13
15. "Get Well Soon" Explicit icon Williams, Grande Williams 5:22
Japan Special Edition[85]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
16. "No Tears Left To Cry" (Instrumental) 3:25
17. "God Is A Woman" (Instrumental) 3:17
Japan Deluxe Edition (Bonus DVD)[86]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "No Tears Left To Cry" (Music Video)
2. "The Light Is Coming" (Music Video) (featuring Nicki Minaj) Explicit icon


Cut tracks

External links

References

  1. The Fader - Ariana Grande
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Twitter - Ariana about the first song recorded
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Twitter - Ariana about the last song recorded
  4. Twitter - Ariana about working on the album
  5. YouTube - Ariana Grande's Gone Platinum Blonde & Confirms She's FINISHED Her Fourth Album
  6. Idolator - Ariana Grande Is Already Working On Her Fourth Album
  7. MTV - Ariana Grande's Been So 'Inspired' That She Already Made Her Next Album
  8. Twitter - Ariana confirms AG4 is done
  9. Youtube - Ariana during Dangerous Woman Q&A
  10. Ariana Grande Teams With Pharrell Williams For 4th Album
  11. Twitter - Ariana News Brasil - Riccardo Marcuzzo via Instagram Stories
  12. From Ariana to Watt: Catching Up With Scooter Braun’s 20 Clients as SB Projects Turns 10
  13. Pharrell Williams' latest Adidas Originals collaboration is a super-exclusive pair of co-branded Chanel kicks
  14. Twitter - About Hitmaka & A1
  15. Twitter - Ariana Grande Today - Ariana on the studio
  16. Instagram - New song snippet - 12/31/17
  17. Twitter - Colleen Ballinge in a Q&A about 'Be Alright' and Ariana's fourth album.
  18. Twitter - Charlie Walk about Ariana's fourth album
  19. Twitter - Frankie about AG4
  20. MTV UK - Ariana Grande Has Reportedly Finished Her New Album
  21. Variety - Ariana Grande to Drop First Single From New Album on April 27
  22. Headline Planet - Ariana Grande's New Single May Actually Arrive On April 20
  23. 23.0 23.1 Billboard - Ariana Grande Announces New Song 'No Tears Left To Cry' Out Friday
  24. Twitter - Track list
  25. Twitter - Track list 2
  26. Twitter - Ariana Grande - those weren't in order
  27. Ariana Grande Dishes On New Album 'Sweetener' as She Takes Over 'The Tonight Show'
  28. Just Jared - Ariana Grande Reveals Title of Fourth Album: 'Sweetener'
  29. TIME - Ariana Grande Is Ready to Be Happy
  30. Twitter - Ariana posted a new snippet on her Instagram Story"
  31. Twitter - Ariana has announced that she has added more songs
  32. Twitter - Ariana's Instagram Story #2
  33. Twitter - Snippet of Nicki Minaj's verse on 'The Light Is Coming'
  34. Twitter - Ariana Grande
  35. Twitter - Ariana Grande
  36. 36.0 36.1 Twitter - Ariana revealed that the pre-order for Sweetener is coming June 20
  37. Twitter - Ariana about new song on July 20
  38. 38.0 38.1 Twitter - Ariana revealing that "God Is A Woman" is the second single
  39. 39.0 39.1 Billboard - Ariana Grande Pushes 'God Is A Woman' Release Date Up: 'Surprise'
  40. Ariana Grande Reveals 'Sweetener' Track List
  41. Twitter - Ariana Grande - ♡
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 42.5 42.6 42.7 Is Ariana Grande Collaborating With Aretha Franklin?
  43. Instagram - July 22, 2016
  44. Instagram - July 27, 2016
  45. Instagram - July 30, 2016
  46. Instagram - August 11, 2016
  47. Instagram - August 12, 2016
  48. Instagram - August 12, 2016 studio
  49. Instagram - August 13, 2016
  50. Instagram - Ariana Grande - "see you next year"
  51. 51.0 51.1 YouTube - Ariana confirms when God Is A Woman was recorded.
  52. Twitter - Ariana revealing that the album cover art won't be in Blank and White
  53. Twitter - Ariana about her eyes open on the album cover art
  54. The Fader - Ariana Grande is revealing her Sweetener album cover, piece-by-piece
  55. Ariana Grande reveals stunning artwork for her new album Sweetener
  56. Billboard - Ariana Grande Announces Intimate 'Sweetener Sessions' in New York City, Los Angeles & Chicago
  57. Captial FM - Capital Up Close Presents Ariana Grande - The Only Way In Is To Win!
  58. Ariana Grande Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Sweetener'
  59. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Album Aiming for No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart
  60. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Hits the Sweet Spot Atop UK Albums Chart
  61. Ariana Grande's Sweetener earns her a second Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart: "I'm so grateful!"
  62. Ariana Grande Lands Her 2nd UK Number 1 Album With 'Sweetener'
  63. Sweetener lands Ariana Grande third #1 album
  64. ARIA CHART WATCH #487
  65. Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” Earns #8 In Australia; “Everytime,” “Sweetener” Also Debut
  66. Albumit 34/2018 - Musiikkituottajat - Tilastot - Suomen virallinen lista
  67. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Sours Travis Scott's Success
  68. Czech Albums – Top 100
  69. ultratop.be - Ariana Grande - Sweetener
  70. ultratop.be - Ariana Grande - Sweetener
  71. Suomen virallinen lista - Albumit 34/2018
  72. Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart
  73. IRMA - Irish Charts
  74. NZ Top 40 Albums Chart
  75. Topp 40 Album 2018-34 – VG-lista 2018
  76. Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100
  77. Ariana Grande entra para a liderança do Top Nacional
  78. El portal de Música
  79. SCHWEIZER HITPARADE - ALBEN TOP 100 - 26.08.2018
  80. Offizielle Deutsche Charts
  81. 週間 アルバムランキング 2018年08月27日付
  82. 82.0 82.1 YouTube - Ariana Grande Talks Sweetener, Pete Davidson & Nicki Minaj
  83. Ariana Grande - Sweetener - Cassette
  84. Ariana Grande - Sweetener - Cassette
  85. Sweetener Japan Special Edition [w/ GOODS, Limited Edition] by Ariana Grande
  86. Sweetener Deluxe Edition [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]
  87. 87.0 87.1 Twitter - Ariana bout "My Way" and "Sober"
  88. Youtube - Snippet of "She Got Her Own"
Sweetener
August 17, 2018 • 47:25 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathinEverytimeGet Well SoonGod Is A WomanGoodnight N GoNo Tears Left To CryPete DavidsonRaindrops (An Angel Cried)R.E.MSuccessfulSweetenerThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased My WayShe Got Her OwnSoberYou
Artists
Ariana GrandeMissy ElliottNicki MinajPharrell Williams
Tour
The Sweetener Sessions
"Nobody got me the way that you did."
Not to be confused with the song.
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