Who Is Ricky, The One Ariana Grande Ex That No One Remembers?

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.
Ariana Grande just did the impossible: She got us to stop asking questions about Pete Davidson. The surprise release of her new single "Thank U, Next" may have happened just a half hour before her ex-fiancé's return to Saturday Night Live, but he was not the former paramour that people were talking about after listening to Grande call her exes out by name in the first verse of the song:
"Thought I'd end up with Sean / But he wasn't a match / Wrote some songs about Ricky / Now I listen and laugh / Even almost got married / And for Pete, I'm so thankful / Wish I could say, 'Thank you' to Malcolm / 'Cause he was an angel."
One of these things is not like the other. While even Davidson, who Grande was seemingly subtweeting not four days ago, was portrayed in a positive light, this "Ricky" got a real bum deal. The lyrics in question are about former backup dancer Ricky Alvarez, but most of Twitter totally forgot that was even a thing.
Grande and Alvarez dated for a little over a year back in 2015-2016 after he began dancing for her in 2014. People started buzzing about their relationship when they kissed on stage during the 2015 Pride festival, but perhaps most iconically, Alvarez was the boyfriend present during Grande's infamous donut-licking incident.
In July 2015, Grande got caught up in controversy when security footage captured her and Alvarez seemingly licking donuts at a store in Lake Elsinore, CA. This is also when Grande exclaimed, "What the fuck is that? I hate Americans. I hate America." This whole thing prompted a true hall-of-fame-level apology video.
While Alvarez and Grande broke up in 2016 for unknown reasons, it's speculated that songs "Moonlight," "True Love," and "Forever Boy" are about their relationship. Of course, those are also the songs Grande now "listens and laughs" about, but it's all good, since she reportedly let Alvarez and other mentioned-ex Big Sean hear the single before it was released.
The one love of Ariana's life that was actually forgotten in this single? Piggy Smallz.

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