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(Working with Zedd) was fantastic and super-experimental for me. I never thought I'd do an EDM song, but that was an eye-opening experience. Now all I want to do is dance.

– Ariana Grande, Billboard Interview [1]

'Break Free' is the second single and fifth track from Ariana Grande's sophomore album, My Everything. It features Zedd. The song was released through Republic Records, on July 2, 2014.

The song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of Grande's highest-peaking singles. The music video was released on August 12, 2014.

A live version of the song is featured on K Bye For Now (SWT Live), which was released on December 23, 2019.

Background Edit

Zedd was at the backstage in the Universal Records showcase when he heard Grande sing. At the time, he didn't know who it was but he wanted to work with whoever's voice it was.

Grande first confirmed she had recorded a song with Zedd in an interview with Billboard on April 28, 2014. She then talked about "Break Free" at the 2014 Wango Tango and stated that she wanted the song to be the next single.[2][3] Throughout the month of June, Grande hinted about her second single but did not reveal that it was the collaboration with Zedd until June 21 where she also revealed the title of the track, Break Free.[4] On June 22, 2014, she started a ten-day online countdown to the release of the song where she officially confirmed that Zedd would be a featured artist on the track.[5]

Live performances Edit

Grande first performed Break Free during the My Everything concert stream on August 18th, 2014. Grande later on performed the song at awards shows such as the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards[6] and the 2014 BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards.[7]

"Break Free" was a regular part of Grande's The Honeymoon Tour setlist in 2015.[8] The song was also performed at her iHeartRadio Halloween concert.[9]

Grande performed Break Free at multiple music festivals such as Wango Tango 2016,[10] Capital FM's Summertime Ball 2016,[11] B96 Pepsi Summer Bash 2016 and the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival.

The song was a regular part of Grande's Dangerous Woman Tour setlist in 2017.[12] It was also performed at One Love Manchester.[13]

The song was a part of Grande's setlist at Wango Tango 2018.[14][15]

Break Free was a regular part of Grande's Sweetener World Tour setlist[16] and was performed at Coachella [17] and Lollapalooza [18] in 2019.

Music video Edit

The music video was filmed from June 10, 2014, to June 12, 2014 [19] and was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero. Grande began hinting at the video by posting photos of aliens and space. She later revealed that the video was inspired by the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, Star Wars, and space in general.[20][21][22][23] It was released on August 12, 2014, on Grande's Vevo channel. The plot consists of Ariana on a fictional planet renouncing her allegiance to an evil regime of extraterrestrials and freeing a group of prisoners from their cages. She subsequently attacks a giant robot using missiles, but the robot managed to release its hand to catch her, bringing her to the planet's overlord. Her character succeeds in defeating the villain, and the clip ends with Grande and the prisoners she rescued flying away in a spaceship, partying with the crew, as Beats by Dre products are visible in the scene. The song's producer Zedd makes an appearance.

Trivia Edit

  • This song was originally intended for Austin Mahone as a ballad. The lyrics were a little bit different.[24]
    • In a May 2014 interview during which he talked about "Break Free", Zedd spoke about wanting to collaborate with Grande after hearing her voice for the first time at a Universal showcase. He said, "I was backstage and I heard someone sing. And I didn't know who it was, and I just said 'I want to make a song with whoever is singing right now.' I didn't know who it was, and it turned out being her. And luckily, now there's a song!"[25][26][27]
  • Grande first spoke about collaborating on a song with Zedd in late April in an interview with Billboard. She described the song as "fantastic and super-experimental for me" and further stated, "I never thought I'd do an EDM song, but that was an eye-opening experience, and now all I want to do is dance."[28][29]
  • Zedd and Grande didn't actually meet until the 2014 Wango Tango after the song was finished.[26]
  • Grande said she doesn't get the context of the lyrics.
  • The song has been certified triple Platinum by the RIAA and has sold 1.9 million copies in the United States as of 2018, making it Grande's seventh single to have sold over a million.[30]
  • Break Free peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Grande's third consecutive top-ten from My Everything after 'Problem' and 'Bang Bang', and fourth overall in the US.
  • At concerts, Grande often adds "Said", before the line "I only wanna die alive".
  • Grande premiered the song on a TV special titled "Total Ariana Live"
  • Jai Brooks was on the set of the music video.
  • According to Billboard, 'Break Free' is one of her favorite modern hymns in favor of the LGBTQ community of 2013+.
  • The music video was inspired by Star Wars, Barbarella and space in general.[20][21][22][23]
  • 'Break Free' is featured on Ubisoft's dance game Just Dance 2015 as free downloadable bonus content.[31]
  • In the live version of the song featured on K Bye For Now (SWT Live), Grande sings "it was Fredo" rather than "it was fatal".[32]
  • Lea Michele, along with other Glee cast members, covered "Break Free" in its sixth season.[33]

Videos Edit

Gallery Edit

Lyrics Edit

[Verse 1]
If you want it, take it
I should've said it before
Tried to hide it, fake it
I can't pretend anymore

[Pre-Chorus]
I only wanna die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
I don't wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I've become who I really are

[Chorus]
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more

[Verse 2]
You were better, deeper
I was under your spell, yeah
Like a deadly fever yeah, babe
On the highway to hell

[Pre-Chorus]
I only wanna die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
I don't wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I've become who I really are

[Chorus]
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more

[Bridge]
No more baby, oh
Thought of your body, I came alive
It was lethal, it was fatal
In my dreams it felt so right
But I woke up every time, oh baby

[Chorus]
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more
This is the part when I say I don't want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
Cause I can't resist it no more

References Edit

  1. Billboard Interview
  2. SugarScape - Ariana teases new song with Zedd
  3. Ryan Seacrest - Grande wants her next single to be her Zedd collaboration
  4. Twitter - Ariana confirming the name of the song
  5. Twitter - Ariana announces 10 days until 'Break Free' premier
  6. MTV - Ariana performs 'Break Free' at 2014 VMAs (via youtube)
  7. BBC Radio 1 - Ariana performs 'Break Free' at Teen Awards (via youtube)
  8. Setlist.FM - Average setlist for 'The Honeymoon Tour'
  9. iHeartRadio - Ariana performs on the Honda Stage, at iHeartRadio Theater LA halloween concert (via youtube)
  10. Wango Tango - Ariana performs 'Break Free' 2016 (via youtube / low quality)
  11. Capital FM - Ariana performs 'Break Free' at Summertime Ball (via youtube / low quality)
  12. Setlist.FM - Average setlist for 'Dangerous Woman Tour'
  13. Ariana performing 'Break Free' at One Love Manchester (via youtube)
  14. Wango Tango - Ariana Grande's Setlist 2018
  15. Wango Tango - Ariana performs 'Break Free' 2018 (via youtube)
  16. Setlist.FM - The average setlist of 'Sweetener World Tour'
  17. Coachella - Ariana performs 'Break Free' (via youtube)
  18. Lollapalooza - Ariana performs 'Break Free' (via youtube / fan recorded)
  19. MTV - Ariana wrapped up music video for second single
  20. 20.0 20.1 MTV - Is Ariana Channeling Sexy Barbarella? See A Few More 'Hints'
  21. 21.0 21.1 Idolator - Ariana Grande Dresses Up As Barbarella: Is A New Video On The Way?
  22. 22.0 22.1 MTV - Need To Know: Ariana Grande Gives Her Fans Homework And Maybe Another Music Video Hint
  23. 23.0 23.1 iHeartRadio - Ariana Announces Exclusive Concert! (via youtube)
  24. TigerBeat - Exclusive: Austin Mahone turned down the chance to record Ariana Grande's song 'Break Free'
  25. Billboard - Ariana Grande's 'Break Free': Watch Zedd Discuss The New Single
  26. 26.0 26.1 MTV - Ariana Grande's 'Break Free' The Song Of The Summer? Zedd Thinks So
  27. KBGO FM - WATCH: Zedd talks Ariana Grande collab
  28. Billboard - The "Yours Truly" follow-up will feature a "fantastic and super-experimental" song with Zedd, along with collaborations with Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, Max Martin and Rodney Jerkins.
  29. Fuse.TV - Ariana Grande Is Going EDM With Zedd On New Album
  30. Billboard - Ask Billboard: Ariana Grande's Career Album & Song Sales
  31. Just Dance 2015 - 'Break Free' dance gameplay (via youtube)
  32. Ariana Grande- 'Break Free' swt live (via youtube)
  33. GLEE - Cast members performing 'Break Free' (via youtube)
My Everything
August 25, 2014 • 40:31 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Bang BangBe My BabyBest MistakeBreak FreeBreak Your Heart Right BackCadillac SongHands On MeIntroJust A Little Bit Of Your HeartLove Me HarderMy EverythingOne Last TimeOnly 1ProblemToo CloseWhy TryYou Don't Know Me
Unreleased Not Afraid Of LoveRidiculousThe Way It Is
Artists
Ariana GrandeA$AP FergBig SeanCashmere CatChildish GambinoIggy AzaleaJessie JNicki MinajThe WeekndZedd
Tour
The Honeymoon Tour
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