The 25-year-old singer released the track late last year following the tragic passing of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in September, and her split from former fiancée Pete Davidson in October, and has now said the song – which pays tribute to all her former partners – helped her get through a “super challenging chapter” in her life.
Speaking during an appearance on the ‘Zach Sang Show’, she said: “I made [‘Thank U, Next’] with my best friends over the course of a really small period of time and it kind of saved my life.
“It was this super challenging chapter that sucked and then my friends made it amazing and special. It turned everything around in my life. It sounds really corny, but it was the most beautiful. I don’t think life has ever been as bad as it was when [we started making it].”
The ‘7 Rings’ hitmaker also revealed she had written several different versions of the track, including one in which she hadn’t split with Pete and was still getting married, and another with no names included.
She added: “I was also trying to be protective. In my relationship [with Pete] at the time, things were like up and down and on and off, and so I didn’t know what was going to happen and then we got back together, so I had to make a different version of it, and then we broke up again, so we ended up going with that verse.
“There’s a version where I was getting married, there’s a version where I’m not getting married, there’s a version with nothing – we’re not talking about anything. But we all knew that the first version was gonna be the version we ultimately went with.”
And Ariana found putting the song out to be “very scary”, because the lyrics are so personal.
She said: “It was a big risk and a very scary thing to do, because it is my life. I understand that to a lot of people, I’m not a real person, or it’s easy to just kind of like see me as like, a song or a picture or like a thing that kind of exists in their head and they know what they know and that’s it. But at the end of the day, these are people and relationships. It’s real s**t to me. It is real life and I spent a lot of time with each of those people … it was like scary to put in a song.”