I'm not sure if you noticed, but Ariana Grande has had a big year. In fact, 2018 has been her biggest year ever. She released a stunning album, demolished Spotify and YouTube records, and created a music video that we can’t stop talking about.
Grande’s highly anticipated music video for “Thank U, Next” now holds the record for the biggest music video debut in YouTube history, earning over 50 million views in the first 24 hours, a spokesperson at YouTube told Refinery29. Vevo also confirmed that with those 50 million views, Grande broke its record for most music video views in the first 24 hours, and then the video went on to break Vevo's becoming the new fastest video to reach 100 million views.
"It's one thing to have a video premiere that comes out of the gate strong and entirely something else for it to continue to sustain that momentum over time. All signs indicate that 'thank u, next' will be a chart topper for us for weeks to come and will contend with many of our top all-time most viewed videos," said Vevo's Head of Content, Programming & Marketing JP Evangelista.
With over 440,000 comments on the video and over 516,000 chat messages (another YouTube premiere record), her fans are beside themselves. An absolute pop banger referencing all our favourite aughts romantic comedies, from 13 Going On 30 to Legally Blonde to Mean Girls with some Bring It On thrown in for good measure? Not to mention the brilliantly comedic Kris Jenner cameo? Grande makes what she wants on her terms and her fans love her for it.
As the pop star teased the video with a series of behind-the-scenes photos and spoilers, “Thank U, Next” surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify in just 11 days, making it the fastest song in history to reach that milestone. With that kind of reception, you would think she had taken some time away from the spotlight and made a triumphant return. Nope. A little over three months earlier, Grande released the lush pop album that is Sweetener. Spotify revealed that in 2018, Ariana Grande was the highest streamed woman globally, with more than 3 billion streams.
While Grande’s year wasn’t all streaming records and album releases — she mourned the loss of Mac Miller and broke things off with whirlwind fiancé Pete Davidson — she has taken tragedy in stride and made something beautiful.
With this kind of momentum, who’s to say what 2019 will hold for Grande. No, thank you, next.
This article was originally published on December 2, 2018. It has been updated with new reporting throughout.