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"Imagine" (stylized in all lowercase) is the opening track and first promotional single from Ariana Grande's fifth studio album, Thank U, Next.[1] It was released through Republic Records on December 14, 2018, along with a lyric video uploaded on Grande's YouTube channel.[2]

Background[]

The track was first teased in the music video of Grande's single, "Breathin" from her fourth album Sweetener,[3] and then teased for a second time in the "thank u, next" music video.

On her Instagram story on December 11, 2018, Grande said "while "thank u, next" is about acceptance, "imagine" is about denial. On December 12, 2018, Grande tweeted the song lyrics "imagine a world like that" and "baby direct it, name in the credits, like the movies do".[4][5] On December 14, 2018, Grande revealed on Twitter that the song is about "a simple, beautiful love that is now (and forever) unattainable".[6]

The song is thought to be about Grande's ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, who died from an accidental drug overdose in September 2018. Many of the lines in the song also mirror Miller's 2016 song "Cinderella", which was confirmed to be about Grande.[7][8]

The full sessions were leaked on October 13, 2021, alongside "Fake Smile" and "In My Head" sessions.

Audio[]

Cover art[]

Grande revealed the song's official cover art on December 13, 2018, on her Instagram stories.[9] It was designed by Grande's ex-boyfriend and friend Ricky Alvarez.[10] It appears to be a zoomed in and highly edited photograph from the filming of Grande's "Thank U, Next" music video.

The text on the cover art reads "想像", a condensed version of the word "Imagine" in Japanese ("想像する"). There is also a Japanese version of the Parental Advisory sticker.

Lyric video[]

An official lyric video was uploaded on Grande's YouTube channel accompanying the song release, on December 24, 2018.[11]

Commercial performance[]

Following its release, the song debuted at number 1 on the worldwide iTunes Song chart.[12] It also debuted at number 2 on the Spotify US chart with over 1.7 million streams and at number 5 at Spotify Global Chart with over 3.7 streams.

On the US Billboard Hot 100, "Imagine" debuted at number 24, becoming highest peak for any of Grande's promotional singles.[13] The following week it dropped to 71, and on the fourth week it spent its last week on the Billboard Hot 100. The song re-entered on the week ending February 2, 2019, at number 99. Following Thank U, Next's release, the song re-entered and peaked on the week ending February 23, 2019, at number 21.

The song debuted at number 8 in the UK official singles charts, this being her tenth song to reach the top 10 in the country,[14] and debuted at number 4 in Ireland.[15] The song reached number 10 in Belgium, Malaysia and Singapore.[16][17][18]

As of March 21, 2024, the song is certified two times platinum in the United States.[19]

Billboard Hot 100 History[]

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[20]

Live performances[]

Trivia[]

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  • The song was recorded and worked on during several different studio sessions, along side "Confused", "Needy", "Not Ok", "Indica", and "In The Moment".
  • The song is about an unattainable love that is “now and forever” unreachable. The track has been described to be the opposite of “thank u, next,” which has a central message of self-empowerment.
  • In the session, you can hear Muni Long say she leaves at 6:30.
  • On January 22, 2019, it was confirmed that "Imagine" would be the first track from the album Thank U, Next.[1]
  • This is one of Nonna Grande's favorite tracks from Thank U, Next, along with "7 Rings" and "In My Head".[23]
  • The line 'Staying up all night, order me pad thai' is reminiscent of of a lyric from Mac Miller’s 2016 song “Cinderella”, a song which Ariana confirmed was about her in a May 2018 Twitter post[24], where he raps about cooking stir fry in the following line 'And when you hungry, I can chef you up some stir fry.'
  • The cover art is a black and white version of a frame from the Thank U, Next music video.
  • Commercially, this is Grande's highest-charting promotional single. It reached the top 10 in eight countries, as well as the top 20 in six countries. "Imagine" also debuted at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the highest peak for any of her promotional singles in the country.
  • This song was not performed on the Sweetener World Tour due to it being too personal.
  • This song ends with whistle notes

Lyrics[]

[Verse 1]
Step up the two of us, nobody knows us
Get in the car like, "Skrrt"
Staying up all night, order me pad thai
Then we gon' sleep 'til noon
Me with no makeup, you in the bathtub
Bubbles and bubbly, ooh
This is a pleasure, feel like we never act this regular

[Pre-Chorus]
Click, click, click and post
Drip-drip-dripped in gold
Quick, quick, quick, let's go
Kiss me and take off your clothes

[Chorus]
Imagine a world like that
Imagine a world like that
We could light up 'til I'm 'sleep on your chest
Love how my face fits so good in your neck
Why can't you imagine a world like that?
Imagine a world

[Verse 2]
Knew you were perfect, after the first kiss
Took a deep breath like, "Ooh"
Feels like forever, baby, I never
Thought that it would be you
Tell me your secrets, all of the creep shit
That's how I know it's true
Baby, direct it, name in the credits
Like the movies, ooh

[Pre-Chorus]
Click, click, click and post
Drip-drip-dripped in gold
Quick, quick, quick, let's go
Kiss me and take off your clothes

[Chorus]
Imagine a world like that
Imagine a world like that
We could light up 'til I'm 'sleep on your chest
Love how my face fits so good in your neck
Why can't you imagine a world like that?
Imagine a world

[Outro]
Can you imagine it?
Can you imagine it?
Can you imagine it?
Can you imagine it?
Can you imagine it? (Can you imagine?)
Can you imagine it? (Can you imagine?)
Can you imagine it? (Ooh)
Imagine that
Imagine it, imagine it
Imagine it, imagine it
Imagine, imagine
Imagine, imagine
Imagine, imagine

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Instagram - Post by Sweetener
  2. Twitter - Grande announcing release date
  3. Twitter - Ariana Grande Today - Ariana revealed two more songs from her upcoming album
  4. Ariana Grande on Twitter - "imagine a world like that" (December 12, 2018) Archived
  5. Ariana Grande on Twitter - "baby direct it, name in the credits... like the movies do" (December 12, 2018) Archived
  6. Ariana Grande on Twitter - "a simple, beautiful love that is now (and forever) unattainable" (December 14, 2018) Archived
  7. This Is Why Fans Think Ariana Grande's "Imagine" Is About Mac Miller
  8. Ariana Grande Says Mac Miller's Explicit Song 'Cinderella' Is About Her and Twitter Is Shook
  9. Twitter - Ariana’s Instagram Story (December 13) #ImagineTonight
  10. Instagram - Ricky Alvarez on Instagram
  11. Ariana Grande's emotional 'Imagine' lyrics have everyone in their feelings
  12. Twitter - Debut of "imagine" at the worldwide chart of iTunes
  13. Twitter - chart data - Billboard Hot 100: "imagine"
  14. Official Charts - LadBaby claims 2018's Christmas Number 1 single: “YES MAAAATE!”
  15. Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50
  16. ultratop.be - Ariana Grande - Imagine
  17. Copy of RIM CHARTS Week 4,5
  18. RIAS TOP 30 INTERNATIONAL STREAMING CHART
  19. Twitter - @chartdata: "US Certifications (@RIAA): Ariana Grande, imagine 2x Platinum (2,000,000)."
  20. Music Charts Archive - "Imagine"
  21. Ariana Grande and the Roots Bring Out the Soul in ‘Imagine’ on ‘Fallon’ (Watch)
  22. Watch Ariana Grande Perform “imagine” on Fallon
  23. Twitter - Grande on Nonna's favorite tracks
  24. Twitter - Ariana confirms "Cinderella" is about her via twitter.
Thank U, Next
February 8, 2019 • 41:04 • Republic Records
Songs
Released 7 RingsBad IdeaBloodlineBreak Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm BoredFake SmileGhostinImagineIn My HeadMake UpMonopolyNASANeedyThank U, Next
Unreleased BrittleClose FriendsConfusedCould Be UsDon't Waste My TimeDr NickHell YeaIndicaIn The MomentItallianoJuiceLa La LieLike ThatMy HairNot OkRememberSomething DifferentStill On Ur MindTommy PWhat Would You
Artists
Ariana GrandeVictoria Monét2 Chainz
Tour
Sweetener World Tour
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