These last few years, Ariana Grande has dominated the music industry and established herself as one of today’s top pop stars. Grande is the first solo artist to occupy first, second, and the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, named Billboard's 2018 Woman of the Year, won Best Pop Vocal Album during the 2019 Grammy's for Sweetener. Her last two albums Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019) were her most successful yet with her comeback single Not Tears Left To Cry and her first number-one single and title track Thank U, Next. With the two albums only six months apart that inspired a joint tour; it is only appropriate to rank all the music videos from her last two studio albums.
- thank u, next
Following the success of the lead single from debuting at number one and breaking the record for the most streams received by a song in a single day by a female artist on Spotify. The video pays homage to Bring It On, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, and 13 Going On 30 which is just one reason this video is at the top of the list. This Hannah Lux Davis directed video also features various cameos by the actors from the films being referenced like Jonathan Bennett aka Aaron Samuels and Stefanie Drummond from Mean Girls and Jennifer Coolidge from Legally Blonde. Along with the actors, a bunch of Ariana’s celebrity friends have roles in the video like Troye Sivan, Colleen Ballinger, and Victorious alums Elizabeth Gillies and Matt Bennett. The music video broke the Youtube record for the most views within 24 hours, the biggest music video debut, and the fastest to earn 100 million views. With a song full of self-love and gratitude combined with a music video with tons of celebrity cameos and creative references to some of the most popular romantic comedies of all time makes it Ariana Grande’s best music video to date.
- God is a woman
This video comes from the second single off Sweetener and directed by Dave Meyers, who also directed the video for no tears left to cry and the light is coming. In true Dave Meyers fashion, he takes iconic figures and visuals from Greek mythology, art, and astronomy to emphasize female empowerment that the song exudes. The video includes a voiceover from Madonna, a powerful woman in the music industry, which references Ezekiel 25:17 from Pulp Fiction with a female twist. This female-centered video will turn anyone into a feminist and will have fun trying to name all of the references.
- no tears left to cry
After a long hiatus since the Manchester bombing, this song and video was Ariana’s debut back into the public eye and the music industry. The video is Ariana’s first collaboration with Dave Meyers and shows her in different scenes with optical illusions like a revolving hallway, walking on walls and ceiling. The extensive transitions and easter eggs hinting at the tracklist for Sweetener shows Meyer’s impressive and creative vision. The video ending with a bee flying off into the sky is a heartfelt tribute to Manchester and signaling Ariana moving forward from the tragedy.
- 7 rings
The song was released as Ariana’s second single off the Thank u, next album and was released at the same time with the video. The song debuted at number one making it her second number one after "thank u, next" and staying there for eight non-consecutive weeks. The video showing Ariana happy and carefree with friends after everything she’s gone through shows how strong she is and having all of her friends who inspired the title makes it even better.
- in my head
While the song was not released as an official single, there’s still a music video so it counts. The video was posted on Vogue’s youtube channel to promote Ariana’s Vogue cover shoot. Bardia Zeinali directed this music video which shows all of Ariana’s classic characteristics with fun twists: floating thigh-high boots dancing and faceless ponytails moving with the song. It also includes Ariana singing the song acapella— the only thing close to hearing the song live. The creative details that align with the lyrics of this song make this a really great music video.
- break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored
The video released simultaneously with the full album Thank U, Next in February 2019. It features Charles Melton (shout out to all of you Riverdale fans) as the love interest, Ariana, and a lookalike Ariana all vying for his attention. The combination of the fun dance club scenes and the house party setting makes this another enjoyable video directed by Hannah Lux Davis. Also, that ending scene alone creates a very memorable music video.
The video, directed by Hannah Lux Davis, provides the visuals for the last single from Sweetener. A calming song about ways to deal with anxiety has Ariana on a swing in the clouds, standing alone in a crowded bar and train station, and also has easter eggs to the tracklist for her fifth album, Thank u, Next. The video creates a relatable feeling to all who experience anxiety in the different scenarios Ariana is in.
- the light is coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Released as a promotional single for Sweetener and video in partnership with Reebox, sees Grande dancing around in the dark forest with lightning trying to navigate her way through it. This is the second video directed by Dave Meyers for Ariana’s fourth studio album. The video comes at end because while the visuals are creative for an okay song, it does not compare to the other videos on the list.
While it was the most difficult year in Ariana’s life, it has been the most successful. With one Grammy win, multiple number one singles, breaking Youtube, Spotify and Billboard records, and an amazing world tour; all of her hard work paid off. Ariana Grande displayed her vulnerability and growth to the public and showed that music can help people cope through the greatest tragedies.