It’s been 10 years since Ariana Grande emerged as an angel-voiced pop star with her debut record Yours Truly, transforming seemingly overnight from Nickelodeon star to full-blown force to be reckoned with on the charts.
And in celebration of the album’s very first double-digit anniversary, the 30-year-old pop star planned a full week’s worth of surprises for fans who’ve been supporting her since the very beginning. These include a 10th anniversary special edition of Yours Truly, complete with newly recorded live versions of six of the album’s tracks — which Grande also filmed live performances of in London — merch capsules and behind-the-scenes footage. The most revealing part of Yours Truly’s anniversary, though, has been Grande’s two special Q&A videos on TikTok on Aug. 26 and 28, in which she revealed memories, favorite moments and upcoming projects related to her 2013 LP.
“Happy 10 years of Yours Truly,” she told fans at the beginning of the Q&A, sitting in a corner of the farmhouse where she filmed the six live performances. “Thank you … for supporting me every step along the way, accepting me, loving me, allowing for humanness and everything. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
The star went on to candidly answer questions submitted by fans via Twitter, opening up about writing, recording and releasing Yours Truly (which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200), all while starring as Cat Valentine on Victorious. She also touched on the most important things she learned in the process, making revelations about things she’d do differently today.
“Thanks for being along for the ride, and for being here,” Grande later added. “I’m so grateful for all of you, and how f–king crazy has it been these ten years? So much has happened. So much has happened. So much. Has. Happened.”
She Made ‘The Way’ Music Video Without Her Record Label Knowing
After saying that “The Way” music video was “one hundred thousand million percent” the most fun visual to shoot for her debut album, Grande revealed that she, her dancers and Mac Miller actually made the video independently. “We had no budget, didn’t even tell the label we were gonna do it, made it ourselves,” Grande recalled.
“We said, ‘Listen, we have a camera, we have a projector, we have music, we have balloons, we got dancers,’” continued Grande, who’s been signed to Republic Records since 2011. “[The label] brought it up to me, they were like, ‘We need to shoot a music video.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, we already did it.’”
Why She Changed the Album Cover
Yours Truly originally had an entirely different album cover before Grande switched it to its iconic black-and-white portrait, shortly before the record’s Aug. 30, 2013, release. But why did she scrap the first one, which featured her kneeling on a rose-covered floor in front of a bright pink background? “Well, it’s horrible,” Grande said.
“Not horrible, it is — you were right,” she continued. “You guys got very angry when you saw it. I was very sad about that, and I changed it. Your bullying has been consistent for the past 10 years. You hated it, you were like, ‘This is f–king ugly, mom, change it.’ So I did.”
See the original Yours Truly cover here.
R.E.M. Beauty Products Inspired by ‘Yours Truly’ Are On the Way
Responding to a fan who’d asked whether she was working on an R.E.M. Beauty campaign inspired by the Yours Truly anniversary, the star confirmed that a new line of products is indeed on its way: “Would I not?”
“I know you’re very annoyed with me and my little makeup, but it’s coming,” Grande continued, poking fun at a subsection of her fanbase that’s long been vocal about wanting Grande to focus on music, not makeup. “There’s more, mhmm. Gotcha. There’s more, and it’s really cute. It’s very Yours Truly inspired and pink and girly and sweet. It’s very pretty.”
The Only Song on ‘Yours Truly’ She Wrote Herself
Grande worked with a number of songwriters for Yours Truly, including Victoria Monet, who would go on to be a frequent collaborator on Grande’s albums over the next 10 years, and Victorious costar Leon Thomas. But there’s one song on the record that the pop star took credit for writing pretty much entirely by herself: “Tattooed Heart,” one of the biggest fan-favorites in Grande’s entire discography.
“I wrote ‘Tattooed Heart’ in my room alone, when I think I was 17,” the singer shared. “That’s, like, the only song on that album that I wrote by myself. I do love it so much and it feels like a really important one. So I am very proud of it.”
(In addition to Grande, the writing credits on the song — as provided on her verified YouTube channel — also list Khristopher Riddick-Tynes, Leon Thomas, Antonio Dixon, Kenneth Edmonds, Matt Squire and Sean Foreman.)
The Songs She Wishes Were Singles
Yours Truly spawned three singles: “The Way” featuring Mac Miller, “Baby I” and “Right There” featuring Big Sean. But if Grande could go back, there are two other tracks that she’d want to give the single treatment as well. “‘Honeymoon Avenue’ and ‘You’ll Never Know,’ for sure,” she shared. “I think ‘You’ll Never Know’ would’ve been such a fun single.”
Grande also said at another point in the Q&A that “Honeymoon Avenue” is her favorite non-single on Yours Truly.
The Advice She’d Give Her Younger Self
Grande was 20 years old when she released Yours Truly, after spending a full three years working on the project. Now 30, the star reflected on what advice she’d give her decade-younger self if she could, and hypothesized what a much younger Ari would probably say to her now.
“Stay present, and don’t be afraid to say no when you are running on empty and they are sending you around,” shared Grande. “Don’t be afraid to say no when you need rest.”
“I would want Yours Truly Ari to say to Positions Ari, ‘Don’t let go of me,’” she added. “‘Don’t let them make you apologetic or want to shrink yourself. You know what you’re doing. Don’t listen to anybody who you don’t trust or respect or know doesn’t love you.’”
What She Almost Named the Album
Yours Truly almost had a different title, with Grande going back and forth at the time between song titles that would double as the album’s name. “I couldn’t decide,” she confessed. “I really liked ‘Honeymoon Avenue’ as the title, and then I really liked ‘Daydreamin’.’ I just wanted it to be sort of like a love letter, an introduction to the world. And how you sign a love letter type thing is ‘yours truly.’ It just felt like, ‘Here I am.’”
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