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For the song, see Sweetener (song).

Sweetener is Ariana Grande's fourth studio album. It was released on August 17, 2018, through Republic Records.[1] The album was recorded starting in July 2016, and finishing 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] Grande's brother, Frankie Grande, 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 would be in color and that her eyes would 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 accidentally 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]

The album cover art is similar to its lead single's cover art. Ariana Grande's name isn't anywhere on the cover being her first album cover without her name.

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]

The third single, "Breathin", was released on September 18, 2018.[56][57]

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

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.[58] On August 28, 2018, a London concert was announced in partnership with Capital Up Close, which will take place on September 4, 2018.[59]

An art exhibit hosted by Spotify inspired by the album, called Sweetener: The Experience, was held on September 29 and 30, 2018, in New York. The event featured rooms inspired by each songs on Sweetener.

Tour

On October 25, 2018, Grande announced the Sweetener World Tour in support of Sweetener as well as Grande's upcoming fifth studio album, Thank U, Next. The tour is scheduled to begin on March 18, 2019 in Albany, New York, at Times Union Center.

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.[60][61] 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.[62][63] It became her second number-one album in the UK, and her fastest selling album to date.[64] 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.[65][66][67] In Finland, the album debuted at No. 1 being her first album to reach the top there.[68] The album also reached the top of the charts in several other markets, including Austria, Canada,[69], Czech Republic,[70] the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium,[71][72] Finland,[73] Poland,[74] Ireland,[75] New Zealand,[76] Norway,[77] Scotland[78], Portugal[79], Spain,[80] Sweden and Switzerland.[81]

In Germany and Japan, the album debuted at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.[82][83]

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".[84]

Gallery

Photo shoot

Booklet

Track listing

Standard Edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Raindrops (An Angel Cried)"Bob GaudioIlya, Max Martin0:37
2."Blazed" (featuring Pharrell Williams)Pharrell Williams, Maxine ColonWilliams3:16
3."The Light Is Coming" (featuring Nicki Minaj)Williams, Onika Maraj, GrandeWilliams3:48
4."R.E.M"WilliamsWilliams4:05
5."God Is A Woman"Grande, Salmanzadeh, Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard GöranssonIlya3:17
6."Sweetener"Williams, GrandeWilliams3:28
7."Successful"WilliamsWilliams3:47
8."Everytime"Grande, Salmanzadeh, Kotecha, MartinMartin, Ilya2:52
9."Breathin"Grande, Salmanzadeh, Kotecha, Peter SvenssonIlya3:18
10."No Tears Left To Cry"Grande, Martin, Salmanzadeh, KotechaMartin, Ilya3:25
11."Borderline" (featuring Missy Elliott)Williams, Melissa ElliottWilliams2:57
12."Better Off"Tommy Brown, Chauncey Hollis, Brian Malik Baptiste, Kim "Kaydence" Krysiuk, GrandeHit-Boy, Brown, Baptiste2:51
13."Goodnight N Go"Brown, Charles Anderson, Michael Foster, Grande, Victoria McCantsBrown, Anderson, Foster3:09
14."Pete Davidson"Grande, Brown, Anderson, McCantsBrown, Anderson1:13
15."Get Well Soon"Williams, GrandeWilliams5:22
Total length:47:25
Japan Special Edition[87]
No.TitleLength
16."No Tears Left To Cry" (Instrumental)3:25
17."God Is A Woman" (Instrumental)3:17
Japan Deluxe Edition (Bonus DVD)[88]
No.TitleLength
1."No Tears Left To Cry" (Music Video) 
2."The Light Is Coming" (featuring Nicki Minaj) (Music Video) 

Cut tracks

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. Loud Luxury’s “Body,” Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” Reach Top 40 At Pop Radio
  57. Top 40/M Future Releases - Mainstream Hit Songs Being Released and Their Release Dates
  58. Billboard - Ariana Grande Announces Intimate 'Sweetener Sessions' in New York City, Los Angeles & Chicago
  59. Captial FM - Capital Up Close Presents Ariana Grande - The Only Way In Is To Win!
  60. Ariana Grande Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Sweetener'
  61. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Album Aiming for No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart
  62. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Hits the Sweet Spot Atop UK Albums Chart
  63. Ariana Grande's Sweetener earns her a second Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart: "I'm so grateful!"
  64. Ariana Grande Lands Her 2nd UK Number 1 Album With 'Sweetener'
  65. Sweetener lands Ariana Grande third #1 album
  66. ARIA CHART WATCH #487
  67. Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” Earns #8 In Australia; “Everytime,” “Sweetener” Also Debut
  68. Albumit 34/2018 - Musiikkituottajat - Tilastot - Suomen virallinen lista
  69. Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Sours Travis Scott's Success
  70. Czech Albums – Top 100
  71. ultratop.be - Ariana Grande - Sweetener
  72. ultratop.be - Ariana Grande - Sweetener
  73. Suomen virallinen lista - Albumit 34/2018
  74. Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart
  75. IRMA - Irish Charts
  76. NZ Top 40 Albums Chart
  77. Topp 40 Album 2018-34 – VG-lista 2018
  78. Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100
  79. Ariana Grande entra para a liderança do Top Nacional
  80. El portal de Música
  81. SCHWEIZER HITPARADE - ALBEN TOP 100 - 26.08.2018
  82. Offizielle Deutsche Charts
  83. 週間 アルバムランキング 2018年08月27日付
  84. 84.0 84.1 YouTube - Ariana Grande Talks Sweetener, Pete Davidson & Nicki Minaj
  85. Ariana Grande - Sweetener - Cassette
  86. Ariana Grande - Sweetener - Cassette
  87. Sweetener Japan Special Edition [w/ GOODS, Limited Edition] by Ariana Grande
  88. Sweetener Deluxe Edition [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]
  89. 89.0 89.1 Twitter - Ariana bout "My Way" and "Sober"
  90. Youtube - Snippet of "She Got Her Own"

External links

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
Sweetener World TourThe Sweetener Sessions
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