Hidden in the midst of all of her rom-com references and celebrity cameos, Ariana Grande hinted at a new song, "7 Rings," in her highly-anticipated "Thank U, Next" music video. And once fans spotted the reference, Grande opened up about what inspired "7 Rings" on Twitter, and the extremely personal significance that the upcoming song has for her.
Eagle-eyed fans first spotted the song title in the Legally Blonde segment of the music video, during a shot where Grande (as Elle Woods) pulls up to Harvard Law in a convertible, which featured the phrase "7 Rings" on the license plate. After fans correctly guessed that the song would appear on her upcoming album, the singer revealed the inspiration behind the song on her Twitter account.
"What's '7 Rings' about?" a fan asked Grande on social media, to which the singer responded that it was, indeed about the seven friendship rings that she and her BFFs recently purchased. In early November, Grande reportedly shared a Boomerang to her Instagram Story, which showed herself and two others showing off matching, sparkly diamond rings, along with the caption "3/7."
"'Twas a pretty rough day in nyc," Grande explained about the adventure that inspired the song. "My friends took me to tiffany's. we had too much champagne. i bought us all rings. it was very insane and funny. & on the way back to the [studio] njomza was like 'b*tch, this gotta be a song lol.' so we wrote it that afternoon."
In addition to writing a song about her friendship, Grande cast several of her closest friends in the "Thank U, Next" video, including songwriter Victoria Monet (who played a Compton Clovers cheerleader) and BFFs Alexa Luria and Courtney Chipolone, who played two of the Plastics in the Mean Girls-inspired segment of her video.
Grande's three best friends are among the group of seven who have the matching friendship rings, although the singer also noted that her mother and grandmother also owned them. She tweeted, "so technically nine but they got theirs after song was done."
In addition to sharing the story behind "7 Rings," Grande also revealed that fans have already heard a snippet of the song, as it was the mysterious instrumental that played at the very beginning of the "Thank U, Next" video. "Was the instrumental in the beginning really 7 rings? Cause it SLAPS," one fan wrote Grande on Twitter, which the singer confirmed with a simple "mhmmm."
Of course, "7 Rings" isn't the only song off of her next album that Grande teased in her music video. In the Mean Girls segment of the video, the singer wore a tank top bearing the phrase "A Little Bit Needy," which is a reference to a song that she teased on her Twitter account way back in October.
In the 45-second long clip, Grande can be heard singing "and I can be needy, way too damn needy," and she captioned the video "tell me how good it feels to be needed," as a hint to the upcoming track. (Grande also teased the song in her "Breathin'" video, which was released a few weeks ago.)
The other track that Grande teased in "Thank U, Next" is called "Imagine." The song title only briefly appeared in the portion of the video dedicated to Bring It On, where it was written on a building in the background of the football game. ("Imagine," like "Needy" also appeared in the "Breathin'" video.)
And based on her recent tweets, it seems as if fans might be hearing "Imagine" sooner than they anticipated: "I would really like u to hear that next," Grande responded to a fan who asked about the track.
While the singer still hasn't let fans know when, exactly, they can expect to hear her next album, it looks like Grande still has plenty of surprises in store for anyone who can spot them in the background of her music videos.