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Ariana Grande Teases 'Bad Girl Anthem' Track on Her New Album Is a Reimagining of a '90s R&B Hit

The track was also inspired by her fans' love of "Fantasize," a song of hers that leaked and circulated illegally online

Ariana Grande was less than pleased that a song of hers circulated online illegally, but her fans’ response to it ultimately influenced her newest album.

The pop star, 30, recently put fans on blast as she discussed the leaking of her song, “Fantasize,” on the Zach Sang Show, and warned that she’d see the perpetrators “in jail, literally.” Ironically enough, the love her fans showed for the pop track, though, ended up affecting the track list of her forthcoming album, Eternal Sunshine.

Among the 13 tracks on her seventh studio album — her first in nearly three and a half years, since 2020’s Positions — is a song called “the boy is mine,” which Grande confirmed is related to the 1998 track of the same name by Brandy and Monica.

“I love that song. I’ve always wanted to reimagine that song in some kind of way,” she said during a conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 on Thursday.

The reimagining ended up in the eighth track of Eternal Sunshine after Grande “saw my fans’ reaction to ‘Fantasize,’ because they love it so much.”

Courtesy Atlantic Brandy and Monica - "The Boy Is Mine" (1998)
Courtesy Atlantic Brandy and Monica - "The Boy Is Mine" (1998)

She said that “in a way,” it’s an extension of the unreleased song — which she wrote for a TV show, not for herself, she told Sang.

“I think I kind of was like, ‘This is a very bad idea,’ I think, but… There is a large group of my fans that really – they do love a bad girl anthem,” she mused.

Her take on “the boy is mine” is just that — but, in her words, “an elevated version.”

Related: Ariana Grande Tears Up as She Previews 'Vulnerable' Songs from Upcoming Eternal Sunshine Album: 'I'm Nervous!'

During her conversation with Sang, Grande teased that some influences from “Fantasize” had made their way onto Eternal Sunshine, though they took a different form.

The song was originally written as "a parody of a '90s girl group vibe," she said, but after it circulated online by people she referred to as “thieves, pirates, crooks,” she realized that her fans “loved it.”

“And I was like, 'a) all of you are absolute hypocrites, and b) that's crazy! It's so corny!' But it's OK. I took the note, and I kind of gave them Ariana's version of that on the album. I would say that exists. So, some of those seedling ideas from that time actually made their way onto the album, which is really exciting, but they're completely different now."

The Wicked star also issued a plea to regain control of the song as she said, “I'll pay you more to put it away, to get it back.”

<p>Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1</p> Zane Lowe and Ariana Grande for Apple Music 1

Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

Zane Lowe and Ariana Grande for Apple Music 1

Related: Ariana Grande Announces 'Yes, And?' Remix Featuring 'Lifelong Inspiration' Mariah Carey: 'Dream Come True'

Aside from featuring a "bad girl anthem," Grande's forthcoming album seeks to answer a burning question that the singer had — or at least that's how Lowe seemed to understand the story told between the opening track, "intro (end of the world)," and the final one, "ordinary things."

"I was listening to it and I thought, 'OK, it starts with a question and it ends with an answer.' The question is, 'How do I know if I'm in the right relationship, if I found the right person?' "

Grande said that she always knew "'ordinary things' was the end of the album," but she wasn't exactly sure how she would polish it off.

"I was like, 'This is the last song, but I wonder how I can put that button on it and have it land emotionally the way that I feel it can, and how can I answer the question?' "

It was only when she listened to one of the many voice notes she has of her grandmother, Nonna, talking to a friend that she found the answer. "It was just right smack in the middle of it, and I said, 'Oh my God, that's the answer.' "

<p>Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1</p> Zane Lowe and Ariana Grande for Apple Music 1

Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

Zane Lowe and Ariana Grande for Apple Music 1

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Despite the background she gave on the opening and closing track and "the boy is mine," those three songs did not make the cut when Lowe asked Grande for her favorites off the album.

Instead, she listed "we can't be friends (wait for your love)," "imperfect for you" and the titular track, "eternal sunshine," which she's previously confirmed is a reference to the 2004 film starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

"I think the movie is so beloved because so many people can relate to knowing that something isn't right, but loving so much, and wanting to stay, and wanting to figure it out, and that cycle that can happen in the film," she said of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. "It's because so many people can relate to it, and I think it kind of fell into place that these songs had little tidbits of that theme. I just felt really inspired by it."

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