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Sweetener is Ariana Grande's upcoming fourth studio album. It is expected to be released on August 17, 2018, through Republic Records.[2] It was recorded starting in July 2016, and finishing in May 2018.[3][4]

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.[5] 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."[6][7][8] On January 10, 2017, Grande confirmed again by tweeting that she was done with the album, but later she deleted the tweet.[9]

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.[10] On March 6, 2017, Grande confirmed during a Q&A that she had been working with Pharrell Williams for several months.[11]

On September 18, 2017, Riccardo Marcuzzo uploaded a photo on Instagram Stories editing a song for Grande.[12] Scooter Braun told Variety that the album has a more mature sound.[13] Pharrell Williams told LA Times: “The things that [Ariana] has to say on this album, it's pretty next-level.”[14] On November 27, 2017, Urban/R&B producers Hitmaka and A1 revealed they produced a beat for Grande.[15] On December 13, 2017, Grande uploaded a photo and a video on her Instagram Story in the recording studio for the album.[16] On December 31, 2017, Grande shared a snippet from the album on her Instagram.[17] Grande's close friend, Colleen Ballinger, said in a Q&A that she has heard some of the album.[18] 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."[19] Frankie Grande, Ariana's brother, said: "It's the best thing that ever happened on earth... she's unbelievable... It's unreal".[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] On April 17, 2018, Grande announced that the album's lead single, "No Tears Left To Cry", would be released on April 20, 2018.[24]
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[25][26], however, Grande said that the songs weren't in order.[27]

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."[28] Grande also revealed three songs featured in the album: "God Is A Woman", "Raindrops" and "The Light Is Coming".[29] 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.[30] On May 21, 2018, Ariana posted a snippet on her Instagram story,[31] and revealed that she had added more songs to the album.[32] On May 25, 2018, Grande confirmed that she had added 5 more songs to the album.[33] On May 27, 2018, Grande posted a snippet of "The Light Is Coming", revealing that the song features Nicki Minaj.[34] On May 29, 2018, Grande confirmed that the album will have fifteen tracks, three of which will be collaborations.[35][36]

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.[37] On June 17, 2018, Grande revealed that she will be releasing a new song on July 20, 2018.[38] On June 27, 2018, she announced that it will be the second single, "God Is A Woman".[39] However, on July 12, 2018, Grande announced that it will be released on July 13, 2018.[40]

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.[41]

On June 7, 2018, Grande revealed that the first song recorded for the album was the "Sweetener", in early July 2016.[3] She also revealed that the last song to be recorded was an interlude (later revealed to be titled "Pete"), in May 2018.[4]

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.[50][51]

On June 12, 2018, Grande created an Instagram account and began slowly revealing the cover as a countdown to the album pre-order, with one segment being posted every 25 hours.[52] However, on June 18, 2018, the cover art was leaked, 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".[53]

Singles

The lead single, "No Tears Left To Cry", was released on April 20, 2018.[24]

The second single, "God Is A Woman", was released on July 13, 2018.[39][40]

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.[37]

Trivia

  • The first song recorded was "Sweetener".[3]
  • The last song recorded was "Pete".[4]
  • All tracks are stylized in lower case.
  • The album cover is Grande's first that isn't in black and white.

Gallery

Photoshoot

Track listing

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
3. "The Light Is Coming" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Explicit icon Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Onika Maraj Williams 3:48
5. "God Is A Woman" Explicit icon Grande, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Göransson Ilya 3:17
10. "No Tears Left To Cry" Grande, Martin, Ilya, Kotecha Martin, Ilya 3:25


Confirmed tracks

Cut tracks

References

  1. Sweetener by Ariana Grande on Apple Music
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Fader - Ariana Grande
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Twitter - Ariana about the first song recorded
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Twitter - Ariana about the last song recorded
  5. Twitter - Ariana about working on the album
  6. YouTube - Ariana Grande's Gone Platinum Blonde & Confirms She's FINISHED Her Fourth Album
  7. Idolator - Ariana Grande Is Already Working On Her Fourth Album
  8. MTV - Ariana Grande's Been So 'Inspired' That She Already Made Her Next Album
  9. Twitter - Ariana confirms AG4 is done
  10. Youtube - Ariana during Dangerous Woman Q&A
  11. Ariana Grande Teams With Pharrell Williams For 4th Album
  12. Twitter - Ariana News Brasil - Riccardo Marcuzzo via Instagram Stories
  13. From Ariana to Watt: Catching Up With Scooter Braun’s 20 Clients as SB Projects Turns 10
  14. Pharrell Williams' latest Adidas Originals collaboration is a super-exclusive pair of co-branded Chanel kicks
  15. Twitter - About Hitmaka & A1
  16. Twitter - Ariana Grande Today - Ariana on the studio
  17. Instagram - New song snippet - 12/31/17
  18. Twitter - Colleen Ballinge in a Q&A about 'Be Alright' and Ariana's fourth album.
  19. Twitter - Charlie Walk about Ariana's fourth album
  20. Twitter - Frankie about AG4
  21. MTV UK - Ariana Grande Has Reportedly Finished Her New Album
  22. Variety - Ariana Grande to Drop First Single From New Album on April 27
  23. Headline Planet - Ariana Grande's New Single May Actually Arrive On April 20
  24. 24.0 24.1 Billboard - Ariana Grande Announces New Song 'No Tears Left To Cry' Out Friday
  25. Twitter - Track list
  26. Twitter - Track list 2
  27. Twitter - Ariana Grande - those weren't in order
  28. Ariana Grande Dishes On New Album 'Sweetener' as She Takes Over 'The Tonight Show'
  29. Just Jared - Ariana Grande Reveals Title of Fourth Album: 'Sweetener'
  30. TIME - Ariana Grande Is Ready to Be Happy
  31. Twitter - Ariana posted a new snippet on her Instagram Story"
  32. Twitter - Ariana has announced that she has added more songs
  33. Twitter - Ariana's Instagram Story #2
  34. Twitter - Snippet of Nicki Minaj's verse on 'The Light Is Coming'
  35. Twitter - Ariana Grande
  36. Twitter - Ariana Grande
  37. 37.0 37.1 Twitter - Ariana revealed that the pre-order for Sweetener is coming June 20
  38. Twitter - Ariana about new song on July 20
  39. 39.0 39.1 Twitter - Ariana revealing that "God Is A Woman" is the second single
  40. 40.0 40.1 Billboard - Ariana Grande Pushes 'God Is A Woman' Release Date Up: 'Surprise'
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 41.5 41.6 41.7 Is Ariana Grande Collaborating With Aretha Franklin?
  42. Instagram - July 22, 2016
  43. Instagram - July 27, 2016
  44. Instagram - July 30, 2016
  45. Instagram - August 11, 2016
  46. Instagram - August 12, 2016
  47. Instagram - August 12, 2016 studio
  48. Instagram - August 13, 2016
  49. Instagram - Ariana Grande - "see you next year"
  50. Twitter - Ariana revealing that the album cover art won't be in Blank and White
  51. Twitter - Ariana about her eyes open on the album cover art
  52. The Fader - Ariana Grande is revealing her Sweetener album cover, piece-by-piece
  53. Ariana Grande reveals stunning artwork for her new album Sweetener
  54. Twitter - Ariana Grande
  55. Twitter - Ariana has just revealed she has a song called "Blazed"
  56. Twitter - Ariana about the seventh track on Sweetener
  57. Twitter - Ariana revealing "Everytime" on Sweetener
  58. Twitter - Ariana about the track 13 on Sweetener
  59. Twitter - Ariana about re-adding a song called "Better Off"
  60. Twiiter - Ariana about "Breathing"
  61. Twitter - Ariana about the interlude on Sweetener
  62. 62.0 62.1 Twitter - Ariana bout "My Way" and "Sober"
  63. Youtube - Snippet of "She Got Her Own"
Sweetener
August 17, 2018 • TBA • Republic Records
Songs
Released God Is A WomanNo Tears Left To CryThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathingEverytimeGet Well SoonGoodnight N GoMy WayPeteRaindropsR.E.M.She Got Her OwnSoberSuccessfulSweetener
Artists
Ariana GrandeMissy ElliottNicki MinajPharrell
"Nobody got me the way that you did."
Not to be confused with the song.