Behind the Intros On ‘Thank U, Next’: How Ariana Grande Featured Her Nonna, Her Best Friend and a ‘Drag Race’ Star


Arianators are having a heyday with Ariana Grande's new album, Thank U, Next, which arrived promptly at midnight Feb. eight. But whereas many are diving into her super-personal lyrics, different followers are questioning, who're these people who aren't Ari?

Three tracks have intros that characteristic voices who're uncredited on the album observe listing: "NASA," "Bloodline" and "In My Head." Below, let Billboard assist clear up a number of Thank U, Next mysteries.

"NASA" -- Shangela, RuPaul's Drag Race star

Line: "This is one small step for lady, one large leap for woman-kind."

Shangela leads into Ariana's space-themed breakup track with a twist on Neil Armstrong's iconic phrase, which got here to the Drag Race queen upon listening to "NASA." "When the track ended, [Ariana] was like, 'What do you suppose?'" Shangela recalled to E! News. "And I used to be like, 'Oh lady, I dwell! I adore it, and it's superb! I'm already pondering of how I'm going to carry out it for my drag quantity, once I do my model.' And she checked out me mentioned, 'Your model?' And I mentioned, 'I'm simply going to place a enjoyable intro on it for drag, and I'm going to be in a spacesuit with like space-Titties and I'm going to come back out in a moon man go well with and I'm going to raise the masks and say, 'This is one small step for lady, one large leap for womankind.' And she was like, 'Oh my God! I really like that!'"

Grande promptly requested Shangela document the phrase into the singer's telephone. A month later, Ari referred to as to verify "NASA" would come with Shangela's voice on the intro. "You by no means know if this issues are going to actually occur, however it actually occurred," Shangela added. "I used to be like, 'Oh my gosh, I dwell! Hallello!'" 

"Bloodline" -- Marjorie Grande, Ariana's grandmother ("Nonna")

Line: "Because I'm making an attempt to do the most effective I can, they usually can't discover one thing to fulfill me."

Whether she's Ariana's award present date or the star of Ari's social media, Nonna has turn out to be a beloved a part of Grande's profession. Yet, Ariana's grandma had by no means made an look on one in all her albums -- till now.

Nonna kicks off the sassy, brass-tinged observe with an announcement as daring because the track's lyrics that declare the Grande bloodline is a tricky one for suitors to crack. Though Ariana has but to touch upon Nonna's cameo herself, Marjorie is formally credited for offering background vocals as Marjorie "Nonna" Grande.

"In My Head" -- Doug Middlebrook, Ariana's greatest pal

Line: "Here's the factor: you’re in love with a model of an individual that you just've created in your head, that you're making an attempt to however can not repair. Uh, the one individual you'll be able to repair is your self. I really like you, this has gone on method too lengthy. Enough is sufficient. I'm two blocks away. I’m coming over."

As the track's title hints, "In My Head" sees Ariana addressing a relationship the place she had satisfied herself the individual was somebody he was not. But earlier than Grande delivers lyrics that inform that story completely ("Painted an image, I believed I knew you properly/ I obtained a behavior of seeing what isn't there," she sings within the opening verse), a voicemail from her greatest pal makes it clear that she didn't attain that conclusion on her personal.

Grande explained Middlebrook's appearance on Twitter a pair days earlier than the discharge of Thank U, Next: "He was a serious assist to me via some v tough moments so i wished to seize lil," she wrote to a fan, "give him a musical hug. it’s additionally his favourite track so it suits."