Arianators may know all of the songs on thank u, next by heart, but they haven't heard them all performed live yet. That changed for at least one song on Thursday night, though, when Ariana Grande performed "Needy" at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Her performance was introduced by Pharrell with great enthusiasm for her talent and contributions to pop music — and he presented her with the Artist of the Year award. “I am so honored. I will sleep with this tonight," Grande said in the video intro before her performance, where she can be seen embracing the award.
Ariana Grande's song "Needy" has resonated with fans thanks to its emotional, honest lyrics. And that came through in Grande's performance on Thursday, when she took the stage accompanied by a string quartet. She mostly sang the song sitting down. iHeartRadio noted that her performance took place at a remote location. "I admit that I'm a lil' messed up/ But I can hide it when I'm all dressed up," Grande sings in "Needy." "I'm obsessive and I love too hard/ Good at overthinking with my heart." The honest lyrics could describe any number of feelings about love or breakups.
Watch Grande accept her award and perform "Needy" in the below videos.
And Grande's been through a lot in the past couple of years, with 2017's Manchester bombing and her ex Mac Miller's death last September. So there are a lot of super personal events that Grande could have drawn from when coming up with the song's lyrics.
Grande is gearing up for the Sweetener / Thank U, Next tour, which starts next week. So fans will have plenty of time to hear more of the songs from her two newest albums performed live very soon. But until then, and for fans who aren't attending the tour, it was a treat to hear a new song performed live.
Fans shared their excitement about the performance before it even happened, too.
And then, the performance itself had Arianators bursting with happiness for the singer.
One fan was disappointed that Grande didn't perform "7 Rings."
Of course, Thursday's performance was far from Grande's first time singing at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Grande sang at the first-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards in 2014, and fans will love remembering the songs she sang during that awards show. Grande sang "Problem" and "The Way" five years ago, and while she's released plenty of music since then, those two songs are definitely still bops.
This time around, Grande was nominated for five iHeartRadio Music Awards, E! News noted. In addition to the Artist of the Year award, Ariana also took home the Pop Album of the Year for Sweetner.
She had earned nominations for Female Artist of the Year, Best Lyrics (for the song "thank u, next"), Best Cover Song (for her rendition of "Natural Woman"), Best Music Video (for "thank u, next"), Cutest Musician's Pet (for her emotional support pig, Piggy Smallz), and Song That Left Us Shook (for "thank u, next").
And her performance was one that fans won't soon forget. The "Needy" rendition likely only made fans even more excited for Grande's upcoming tour, showing once again that the singer truly is an unstoppable force.