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This article is about the song. For the album, see Sweetener (album).


"Sweetener" (stylized in all lowercase) is the sixth and title track from Ariana Grande's fourth studio album of the same name. It was released through Republic Records on August 17, 2018. A live version of the song is featured on K Bye For Now (SWT Live), which was released on December 23, 2019.

Background[]

Ari-30-7-16

Grande at studio recording "Sweetener" on July 30, 2016.[1]

Grande first teased the track on November 4, 2016, on a Instagram post with the caption "sweetener".[2]

It was also teased in a scene in the "No Tears Left To Cry" music video which displayed what appears to be the entire track list for the album Sweetener.[3]

On July 15, 2018, she posted a picture of herself listening to "Sweetener" on her Instagram Story.[4]

Two days later on July 17, 2018, the Sweetener album track-list was revealed on her Instagram account confirming that this song is featured as the sixth track on the album.[5]

On July 21, 2018, a paparazzi leaked a snippet of Grande playing the song in her car, if you listen closely you can hear the word "Sweetener", later that day Grande confirmed it was the snippet.[6][7]

On June 2, 2023, a new snippet of the "Sweetener" visual leaked. A second snippet leaked on June 14, 2023, along with 2 other visuals that were "R.E.M" and "Get Well Soon". The full video leaked a couple days later on June 18, 2023, along with the other two visuals videos that leaked in full the same day.

Live performances[]

Grande debuted "Sweetener" live on August 20, 2018 at The Sweetener Sessions and was a regular part of the setlist of Grande's Sweetener World Tour, which began on March 18, 2019.

Trivia[]

  • This was the first song recorded and written specifically for the album.
  • The song is about how Grande goes through tough and life challenging circumstances and how she has the ability and power of introducing positivity and light to "sweeten" them.
  • The song boasts a nostalgic, 90s soul and hip-hop vibe while also incorporating contemporary trap elements.[8] This coincides with the theme of Sweetener at large.[9]
  • The songs scrapped visualizer was recorded on February 8, 2018, during the albums photo shoot alongside "R.E.M." and "Get Well Soon".
  • This is one of five songs on Sweetener featuring backing vocals by Pharrell Williams, the others being "Blazed", "R.E.M", "Successful", and "Get Well Soon". Pharell isn't credited as an artist here, however.
  • In a video Q+A for R.E.M. Beauty, she confirmed it was one of her favorite songs from Sweetener.
  • It was performed as a medley on the Sweetener World Tour along with "Successful".
  • This song is commonly associated with an X-rated video that went viral on Twitter.[10][11]
  • The song was named as the 65th best song of 2018 on Pitchfork's year-end list.[12]

Lyrics[]

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
When life deals us cards
Make everything taste like it is salt (Sheesh, sheesh)
Then you come through like the sweetener you are
To bring the bitter taste to a halt (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Post-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
And then you get it, get it, get it, get it (Ayy)
Hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it (Ayy)
Flip it, flip it, flip it
You make me say oh, oh (Sheesh, sheesh)
Twist it, twist it, twist it, twist it
Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it
Kiss it, kiss it, kiss it
You make me say oh, oh (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
I like the way (Way) you lick the bowl (You lick the bowl) (Sheesh)
Somehow your me- (Me-) -thod touches my soul (Touches my soul) (Sheesh, ayy)
It lifts me up (Up) to heights unknown (Ayy)
So when they ask, "How's life?" I go (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
When life deals us cards
Make everything taste like it is salt (Sheesh, sheesh)
Then you come through like the sweetener you are
To bring the bitter taste to a halt (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Post-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
And then you get it, get it, get it, get it (Ayy)
Hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it (Ayy)
Flip it, flip it, flip it
You make me say oh, oh (Sheesh, sheesh)
Twist it, twist it, twist it, twist it
Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it
Kiss it, kiss it, kiss it
You make me say oh, oh (You make me say oh) (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
Your mama sent (Sent) us horoscopes (Us horoscopes) (Sheesh)
Had so much fun (Fun) watching them unfold (Watching them unfold) (Sheesh, ayy)
You said she like me, I smiled, I know (Ayy)
So when they ask, "How's life?" I go (Sheesh, sheesh) (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
When life deals us cards
Make everything taste like it is salt (Sheesh, sheesh)
Then you come through like the sweetener you are
To bring the bitter taste to a halt (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Post-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
And then you get it, get it, get it, get it (Ayy)
Hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it (Ayy)
Flip it, flip it, flip it
You make me say oh, oh (Sheesh, sheesh)
Twist it, twist it, twist it, twist it
Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it
Kiss it, kiss it, kiss it
You make me say oh, oh (You make me say oh, boy) (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Bridge: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
And then we lay it back, talk the rest of the night
Things that we can light make me say oh, oh (Oh, oh) (Sheesh, sheesh)
Talk about what you wanna do, whether it’s wrong or right
I am followin' you 'cause you make me say oh, oh (Oh, oh) (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
(Ayy) Said I don't know what I'd do without you in my life (In my life), it'd be so sour (Sheesh)
(Ayy) I'm hoping that everybody can experience what we have in ours (What we have in ours) (Sheesh)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
When life deals us cards
Make everything taste like it is salt (Sheesh, sheesh)
Then you come through like the sweetener you are
To bring the bitter taste to a halt (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Post-Chorus: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
And then you get it, get it, get it, get it (Ayy)
Hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it (Ayy)
Flip it, flip it, flip it
You make me say oh, oh (Oh ,woah, oh) (Sheesh, sheesh)
Twist it, twist it, twist it, twist it
Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it (Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix,yeah)
Kiss it, kiss it, kiss it
You make me say oh, oh (You make me say oh, babe) (Sheesh, sheesh)

[Outro: Ariana Grande]
Hey, yeah
Oh, yeah

References[]

Sweetener
August 17, 2018 • 47:25 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathinEverytimeGet Well SoonGod Is A WomanGoodnight N GoNo Tears Left To CryPete DavidsonRaindrops (An Angel Cried)R.E.M.SuccessfulSweetenerThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased 100Bad To YouClarityCloudsCocoonDaydream On OccasionEnd Up With YouEver BeenGot Her OwnHate That You Made Me Love YouI Don't Wanna LieI Love MeKeep It CuteMan Of SteelMoreMy WayNobodyOk NowOn Top Of EverythingPretty Girls Like Trap MusicRush DeliverySexShnackSoberSouth AfricaStrong EnoughSweetener FlourishTreadmillWifeeYou
Artists
Ariana GrandeAli TamposiBiaBeyoncéChaka KhanDua LipaCamila CabelloCharlie PuthImogen HeapJennifer HudsonKelly RowlandLucky DayeMissy ElliottN.E.R.D.Nicki MinajNormaniPharrell WilliamsQuavoRita OraSkeptaStarrahSZAT-PainVictoria Monét
Tour
Sweetener World TourThe Sweetener Sessions
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