At this point, Ariana Grande is no stranger to consistently reaching some pretty high personal milestones.
Her latest? For the first time, Grande graces the cover of American Vogue (along with her model-dog Toulouse). In the magazine’s August issue, she reckons with healing from some of the rockiest couple of years.
One particularly rocky moment comes in the form of her highly publicized relationship with Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson, which began shortly after the singer broke up with Mac Miller in May 2018.
This time last year, we were at peak Grande-Davidson mania (some elected to use the portmanteau “Grandson” when referring to the couple at the height of their relationship). The couple had gone from coy to over-the-top in a matter of weeks—and sparked the creation of so many memes that of course even someone as online as Grande herself couldn’t help but participate in. Eventually the two became engaged, Grande put out an album (Sweetener) and then the engagement was called off and the relationship fizzled out by the fall, roughly a month after Miller’s accidental overdose that resulted in his death.
While she has remained close to the vest with publicized commentary regarding her two high profile relationships in 2018, Grande ended up putting out another chart-topping album (Thank U, Next) and opened up about the dark nature of many of the album’s songs in her Vogue cover interview. Specifically, when it comes to discussing the flash-in-the-pan engagement to Davidson, Grande laid it out for what it was: “an amazing distraction.” With an acute sense of self awareness, the singer told Vogue, “It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”
The release of her cover interview coincides with a brand new video for her Thank U, Next track “In My Head,” which many fans have speculated is a song about her crumbling relationship with Davidson (especially that part about the “Gucci tennis shoes”). Though she has ostensibly sung about her failed engagement to Davidson on a certified platinum album and finally explained how she felt about that blip in her life, she has remained gracious about it all, even defending him from cyberbullies when he received death threats after their breakup.