After going back to the early 2000s in her “Thank U, Next” music video, Ariana Grande looked even further into the past for references to make in her latest single—all the way back to 1965, in fact. “7 Rings” dropped at midnight on Friday, along with its accompanying music video, and it opens with an updated riff on “My Favorite Things,” from The Sound of Music, though Grande’s version of Maria von Trapp prefers Louboutin shoes, Tiffany & Co. diamonds, and lengthy hair extensions to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
The song, in the same vein as “Successful,” off her last album, Sweetener, is a playfully boastful ode to all the money Grande has raked in throughout her prolific career, and, more specifically, to her love of spending it on fancy things for herself and her friends. Over the course of the track’s three minutes, Grande buys champagne, eyelash extensions, diamonds, watches, a weave—“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it!”—red-bottomed shoes, a house with giant closets, a private jet, and, in a somewhat meta moment, a music video with an unlimited budget.
Elsewhere in the lyrics, Grande briefly references her short-lived engagement to Pete Davidson, singing, “Wearing a ring, but ain’t gon’ be no ‘Mrs.’” Instead, that ring and the six other titular pieces of bling came from a shopping trip she and her friends took to Tiffany’s not long after her breakup. “It was a…challenging fall day in New York. Me and my friends went to Tiffany’s together, just because we needed some retail therapy. You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring,” she told Billboard in her December 2018 “Woman of the Year” profile. “That’s why we have these, and that’s where the song idea came from.”
The “7 Rings” video is an additional lesson in excess, showing Grande and her friends throwing a lavish, rose-tinted house party. It’s a perfectly over-the-top portrayal of the advice she so generously doles out in the song: “Whoever said money can’t solve your problems must not have had enough money to solve ’em,” she sings at one point, adding, “Happiness is the same price as red-bottoms.”
In conversation with her fans on Twitter, Grande has described “7 Rings” as a “friendship anthem,” and a logical follow-up to “Thank U, Next.” “I guess thank u, next is more vulnerable and gentle lol. seven rings is jus like ..... a flex,” she wrote earlier this week. “How the homies WANT u to feel. what the ‘thank u next’ energy evolves into while embracing a new chapter (even tho both moods /energies are v present).”
The song, like “Thank U, Next” and “Imagine,” will appear on Grande’s upcoming album, also called Thank U, Next. It’s scheduled to be released sometime before she embarks on her world tour (which begins March 18), less than a year after Sweetener’s August 2018 release. She revealed to Billboard that most of the album was written over the course of just one week, following her split from Davidson and the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, and is the result of “feminine energy and champagne and music and laughter and crying.” “This [album’s] not particularly uplifting,” she continued. “A lot of it sounds really upbeat, but it’s actually a super sad chapter.”