The wait is over.
After some cryptic digital promotion, Ariana Grande debuted new music late Thursday night. “No Tears Left to Cry” is Grande’s first single from her forthcoming album—and the first to be released after a bombing took the lives of 22 fans during a concert in Manchester in May 2017.
“I don’t think I’ve been through anything as traumatic as [what] we’ve been through,” Grande said five months after the attack, giving Coveteur a rare interview. “So…[touring] can be a lot.”
Grande canceled seven shows right after the incident and swiftly organized a benefit concert, One Love Manchester, which raised millions of dollars for the British Red Cross. The pop star resumed her Dangerous Woman Tour June 7 at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, ending the final leg in Hong Kong in September. “Calling it off and going home was not an option. The message of the show was too important. For the crew and everyone involved, it’s become more than just a show for us,” she insisted. “We are really grateful to be here and really grateful for this show.”
“I am really grateful—I love what I do. One of my favorite things about it is being able to have an impact on my fans’ lives, and to be there for them—to know that what I’m creating is helping them in some way. Even if it’s just making them feel empowered when they’re getting ready in the morning, helping them through a heartbreak, or finding something they love about themselves. I think about them with everything I create,” the “Into You” singer explained. She added that her fans “definitely been my inspiration this whole time on this tour; [they] keep it going. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without their love, and motivation, or inspiration.”
After the tour, Grande said she planned to “check in on my health.”
In January, Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, said she was still upset over what happened in Manchester. “She cried for days. There was nothing that could stop us. She felt every pain,” Braun said on the podcast Big Questions With Cal Fussman. “Every face that they announced, every name, she wore it on her sleeve—like, every bit of emotion—because that’s who she is.”
Grande went on a self-imposed social media hiatus, returning to perform at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., March 24. Weeks later, she began teasing new music in a series of Instagram and Twitter updates. She then gifted her friends and with sweatshirts bearing the song’s title (written upside down), which Hailey Baldwin and Kim Kardashian promoted online.