Ariana Grande is saying “thank u, next” to labeling her sexuality after fans were convinced she came out as bisexual because of a lyric in her new song.
After dropping two albums within six months, the pop star is keeping everybody fed with a new single “Monopoly,” which arrived on Monday, and toasts to “friendship, freedom, protecting your energy and staying right in your bag,” according to the singer.
The song is a collaboration with friend and artist Victoria Monét, who co-wrote the title track, as well as songs like “Needy” and “NASA” off Grande’s most recent album, “Thank U, Next.”
Certain lyrics from the track indicating that Grande and Monét are bisexual leaked ahead of the single’s release, with some interpreting the song as the Grammy winner coming out.
While Monét sings the line “I like women and men” by herself early in the song ― Grande punctuates the lyric with her distinctive “yuh” ― the pop star later sings the verse by herself, prompting fans to debate endlessly on social media about its implications.
Monét, who’s opened up about her bisexuality before, seemed to confirm fans’ suspicions on social media in her response to a follower’s Instagram comment “IS SHE BI OR NAH.”
“She said what she said,” the songwriter somewhat cheekily hit back.
Grande eventually weighed in on the matter herself in response to a fan who said the singer “ain’t gotta label herself.”
“i haven’t before and still don’t feel the need to now ... which is okay,” Grande wrote.
Grande also liked a series of tweets from fans about how sexuality is fluid and why she shouldn’t feel pressured to come out.
The timing of the song’s release is particularly noteworthy as Grande was met with criticism over headlining the Manchester Pride Festival from certain fans who believed a straight artist shouldn’t be the focus of a concert meant for the LGBTQ community.
The singer later defended herself against the backlash, explaining that she intends to “celebrate and support the community regardless of my identity or how my fans label me.”