Behind the Intros On ‘Thank U, Next’: How Ariana Grande Featured Her Nonna, Her Best Friend and a ‘Drag Race’ Star

Arianators are having a heyday with Ariana Grande's new album, Thank U, Next, which arrived promptly at midnight Feb. eight. But whereas many are diving into her super-personal lyrics, different followers are questioning, who’re these people who aren't Ari?

Three tracks have intros that characteristic voices who’re uncredited on the album observe listing: "NASA," "Bloodline" and "In My Head." Below, let Billboard assist clear up just a few Thank U, Next mysteries.


"NASA" — Shangela, RuPaul's Drag Race star

Line: "This is one small step for girl, one large leap for woman-kind."

Shangela leads into Ariana's space-themed breakup tune with a twist on Neil Armstrong's iconic phrase, which got here to the Drag Race queen upon listening to "NASA." "When the tune ended, Ariana] was like, 'What do you suppose?'" Shangela recalled to E! News. "And I used to be like, 'Oh woman, I reside! I like it, and it's wonderful! I'm already pondering how I'm going to carry out it for my drag quantity, after I do my model.' And she checked out me mentioned, 'Your model?' And I mentioned, 'I'm simply going to place a enjoyable intro on it for drag, and I'm going to be in a spacesuit with like space-Titties and I'm going to come back out in a moon man go well with and I'm going to elevate the masks and say, 'This is one small step for girl, one large leap for womankind.' And she was like, 'Oh my God! I like that!'"

Grande promptly requested Shangela document the phrase into the singer's telephone. A month later, Ari referred to as to substantiate "NASA" would come with Shangela's voice on the intro. "You by no means know if this issues are going to actually occur, nevertheless it actually occurred," Shangela added. "I used to be like, 'Oh my gosh, I reside! Hallello!'" 

"Bloodline" — Marjorie Grande, Ariana's grandmother ("Nonna")

Line: "Because I'm attempting to do the most effective I can, and so they can't discover one thing to fulfill me."

Whether she's Ariana's award present date or the star Ari's social media, Nonna has grow to be a beloved half Grande's profession. Yet, Ariana's grandma had by no means made an look on one her albums — till now.

Nonna kicks f the sassy, brass-tinged observe with an announcement as daring because the tune's lyrics that declare the Grande bloodline is a troublesome one for suitors to crack. Though Ariana has but to touch upon Nonna's cameo herself, Marjorie is ficially credited for offering background vocals as Marjorie "Nonna" Grande.

"In My Head" — Doug Middlebrook, Ariana's finest good friend

Line: "Here's the factor: you’re in love with a model an individual that you simply've created in your head, that you’re attempting to however can’t repair. Uh, the one individual you may repair is your self. I like you, this has gone on approach too lengthy. Enough is sufficient. I'm two blocks away. I’m coming over."

As the tune's title hints, "In My Head" sees Ariana addressing a relationship the place she had satisfied herself the individual was somebody he was not. But earlier than Grande delivers lyrics that inform that story completely ("Painted an image, I believed I knew you properly/ I bought a behavior seeing what isn't there," she sings within the opening verse), a voicemail from her finest good friend makes it clear that she didn't attain that conclusion on her personal.

Grande explained Middlebrook's appearance on Twitter a pair days earlier than the discharge Thank U, Next: "He was a significant assist to me through some v troublesome moments so i needed to seize lil," she wrote to a fan, "give him a musical hug. it’s additionally his favourite tune so it matches."