It's been seven months since Ariana Grande dropped her surprise fifth studio album and her music has continued to break records and top the charts. On Friday, Sep. 20, Grande's Thank U, Next became the first album to break 2 million on demand streams in the United States, which is just one of many milestones that the singer has reached over the past year.
The big news was announced by the Twitter account @chartdata on Friday, in a tweet stating, ".@ArianaGrande's 'thank u, next' has now earned over 2 billion on-demand audio streams in the US in 2019. It's the first album to achieve this milestone." Grande herself retweeted the announcement in celebration, adding just a simple black heart as is her signature. According to Chart Data, that's not the only milestone Grande has reached this week alone; "Don't Call Me Angel," her collaboration with Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey just became Grande's 15th Top Ten hit single in the UK.
The singer also celebrated her chart-topping single and album with the commercial for her latest perfume, Thank U, Next, released on Sep. 19. In the clip, which is an homage to the star-studded "Thank U, Next" music video she released in November 2018, Grande and some of her famous friends joke about her going to space for "the best pears" and even putting locks of her precious ponytail into the bottle.
Immediately after Grande released "Thank U, Next" as a surprise single in November, the song skyrocketed to the top of the charts, becoming the singer's first number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also broke the record for the most streams in a single day on Spotify, and kicked off a run of impressive milestones for Grande. In fact, all of the singles from Thank U, Next did so well that at one point, Grande's fans were attempting to boycott "7 Rings" on steaming services so that her follow up, "Break Up With Your Boyfriend, I'm Bored," could take its spot at the top of the charts.
All of the broken records and unprecedented success of Thank U, Next is even more surprising considering that Grande revealed in December that she had written the entire album in just one week, and finished recording it in two. In an interview with Vogue published on July 9, the singer said that she returned to the studio just two months after releasing Sweetener, her other 2018 album, as a way of processing the grief and heartbreak of her previous year.
"My friends know how much solace music brings me, so I think it was an all-around, let’s-get-her-there type situation," Grande told the magazine about beginning to work on her fifth studio album. "But if I’m completely honest, I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad. I don’t really remember how it started or how it finished, or how all of a sudden there were 10 songs on the board."
Despite the difficult circumstances that surrounded the album's creation, Grande sees Thank U, Next as an important part of her journey towards healing. "I think that this is the first album and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me," she explained. "I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of 'Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this sh*t.'"
Despite once describing Thank U, Next to Billboard as a "super sad chapter," it seems like Grande's fifth album might have been the moment that kicked off the most triumphant moment of her career —thus far.