People think the singer’s first new music in three years — a single titled “yes, and?” — is a response to the Ethan Slater controversy.
After more than three years, Ariana Grande is back with a new single titled, “yes, and?” in the face of a lot of recent relationship drama.
Although Grande is no stranger to her personal life being dissected by the public, her new romance stirred up controversy in 2023, and fans think her new music is alluding to the rumours.
Here’s everything we know about Grande’s new music and why the internet is so interested in her latest relationship.
Ariana Grande’s new single “yes, and?” is coming
On January 7, the 30-year-old singer shared an Instagram post revealing the title and artwork for her latest single “yes, and?” which will be released this January 12. Both the single’s title and artwork, which is a blurry, up-close photo of Grande wearing bright red lipstick and her signature cat-eye, are cryptic, but the internet quickly assumed what the new track may be about.
In recent months, Grande has caught some heat for her rumoured romance with her Wicked co-star, Broadway performer Ethan Slater (more on that later). Some social media users seem to think that the single’s title is Grande’s response to her critics, implying that she’s saying “yes, and?” to all the criticism she’s received over the relationship.
While she just made the official announcement that new music is on its way, the singer has been teasing her comeback for weeks now.
Grande began sharing new photos of her in the studio in late 2023 through a series of Instagram posts. In between pictures of the singer working away on the new album, one post featured a photo of her smiling to the camera with tears in her eyes in a (presumably) post-recording selfie.
Of course, every video that Grande shared so far has been without sound, so we have no clue what the music sounds like just yet. Regardless, many of her famous friends, from Nicki Minaj and Selena Gomez and Liz Gillies, have shown their support and excitement for Grande’s new era in the comments.
This will be Grande’s seventh studio album and her first since she split from her longtime manager, Scooter Braun, who also formerly managed Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.
After laying low for much of 2023, Ariana Grande is slowly emerging
Grande remained relatively low-key for most of last year, having spent much of it filming the upcoming Wicked movie (she stars as Glinda alongside Cynthia Erivo) and recording her latest album.
However, around the holidays, Grande was seen in NYC with Slater in a rare public outing.
About a week later on January 4, Ariana Grande was photographed strolling through NYC wearing a black crewneck sweatshirt with white text that read, “yes, and?” — which we now know is the name of her new single.
Despite the controversy that has surrounded her in recently months, Grande looked relaxed during the outing, pairing the “yes, and?” sweater with straight-leg jeans, fur-trimmed black booties, the Devon leather bag from The Row and an extra dramatic winged eyeliner.
This isn’t the first time that Grande has teased an upcoming music release through clothing. In 2018 she donned a “No Tears Left To Cry” sweatshirt ahead of that single’s release and diehard fans will also remember how Grande wore a “Dangerous Woman” T-shirt ahead of her album’s release in 2016.
The Ethan Slater of it all
Although some social media users commented on how fast Grande seemed to have moved on from her marriage, the real issues began once more about Slater’s relationship history was uncovered.
Slater had been married to Lilly Jay, his high-school sweetheart, since 2018. The pair welcomed their son in August 2022 and seemed to be going strong up until the summer of 2023, with Slater even posting a sweet Mother’s Day tribute to his then-wife (which Grande liked) in May 2023.
Things took a sharp turn when news about Grande and Slater started to make headlines in July 2023 and, by July 26, Slater had filed for divorce from Jay.
The following day, Jay told Page Six that Grande is “not a girl’s girl” and said that her family “was just [the] collateral damage” of the situation.
By September 2023, Grande and Gomez both filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences,” as reported by TMZ.
Since then, Grande and Slater have seemingly been going strong, and have been photographed together on a few occasions, although neither has confirmed the relationship.
Needless to say, people have pretty such strong feelings about Grande and Slater’s messiness, but the title of Ariana Grande’s forthcoming single seems to imply that she accepts that. Thank you (for your concern), next (topic)?