Ariana Grande’s music video “Thank U, Next” shattered YouTube records for most viewed video within 24 hours of release.
The video was released Friday noon and reached 50.3 million views by Saturday night, beating out the previous record holder, K-pop group BTS (which had garnered 45.9 million views for their song “Idol” earlier in August). YouTube Premiere reports that over 516,000 fan messages were sent during the video’s launch, and audience traffic was so intense that it caused delays in comment uploads on the platform.
“Thank U, Next” pays public homage to Grande’s famous ex-boyfriends through major references to classic chick flicks favorites from the 2000’s, including Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30, and Legally Blonde. Fans were delighted to find surprise cameos by Jonathan Bennett (who reprised his role as high school hottie Aaron Samuels), Kris Jenner (playing Regina’s cheering mother during the “Jingle Bell Rock” scene), and Jennifer Coolidge (who came back as the beloved Paulette Bonafonté to do the “bend and snap”). Singer Troye Sivan, YouTube stars Colleen Ballinger and Gabi DeMartino, and old cast members from Victorious also made their special guest appearances, making the video quite fetch.
For Grande, “Thank U, Next” is more than just a personal song honoring her past relationships. After acknowledging exes Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Mac Miller, and Pete Davidson, her lyrics proclaim her newest relationship: with herself.
“I met someone else. We havin’ better discussions. I know they say I move on too fast. But this one gon’ last. ‘Cause her name is Ari. And I’m so good with that.”
Having been through several painful memories in the past year, including the Manchester terrorist attacks, the death of ex Mac Miller, and a broken engagement with Pete, Grande celebrates the positivity and peace that can be found through self-healing. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
“I’ve loved and I’ve lost. But that’s not what I see. ‘Cause look what I’ve found. Ain’t no need for searching.”
Celebrities have taken their craze for Grande’s latest music video to Twitter: