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Ariana Grande sets new UK record for most streams in a week amid claims of cultural appropriation

25th January 2019

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Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.

Ariana Grande sets new UK record for most streams in a week (theguardian.com).

Ariana Grande, image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia via The Guardian article
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia via The Guardian article
The track, which interpolates My Favourite Things on a tale of impulsive jewellery shopping, was streamed 16.9m times, beating the previous record-holder, Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You, which had 15.3m streams one week in December 2018.

Mini-Mariah leapfrogging the Spotify platform record with nearly 15 million plays in a 24 hour period (digitalmusicnews.com), and stealing that recent crown from Mimi (Latest Picks 26th Dec. 2018) no doubt giving some potential to the long much relished diva feud which seemingly until has had turned Mimi’s nose up most “the new Mariah” has been announced while see is still alive (bossip.com, Oct. 2018).

And others have been quick to throw distinctly un-pink shade too:

Rappers Soulja Boy and Princess Nokia have both accused Grande of plagiarism. Soulja Boy called her a thief on Twitter because of 7 Rings’ similarity to his track Pretty Boy Swag, adding: “Give me my credit … stop stealing my swag.” Princess Nokia compared 7 Rings to her song Mine, saying: “Does that sound familiar to you? Ain’t that the lil’ song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmmm … sounds about white.”

With that being Soulja Boy suggesting Drake and “sitting in jail looking crazy” 6ix9ine are not the only ones pinching his swag after he had to stop selling his “SouljaGame” consoles and handhelds after having been a bit too liberal with Nintendo’s swag (ign.com) and intersectional feminism Princess Nokia eager to rap the race card with Ariana also getting it in one of her 7 rings regards exploiting Japanese/east Asian culture for “aesthetic purposes” with the track too (spikeride.com), but with producers KRS and Osh then calling Princess Nokia out without need of for having lifted their beat for the track herself (remezcla.com).

I think at least we can assume the late Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein won’t be calling her out regards “My Favorite Things” with presumably permission being sought and fee paid with the musical seemingly not actually due to enter public domain until 2055 (quora.com) due to the US’s controversial retroactive extension of copyright (upworthy.com, Jan. 2016) and likely David LaChapelle treats giantess Ariana’s tearing of the wall to peek in the dollshouse at 1:54 of the pastiche music video as simply homage (artnet.com).

7 Rings is the third single from Grande’s forthcoming album Thank U, Next, which will be released on 8 February, just six months after her previous album, Sweetener.

Updated 8th February 2019

With those accusations of “cultural appropriation” overtaking cries of having lifted Soulja Boy’s swag and Princess Nokia’s brown women and their hair:

Ariana Grande responds after being slammed for appropriating Japanese culture (capitalxtra.com).

“There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation,” she wrote. “My japanese fans were always excited when i wrote in japanese or wore japanese sayings on my clothing.

“However, all of the merch with japanese on it was taken down from my site not that anyone cared to notice.” Grande went on to mention her “crippling anxiety” and questioned why people weren’t being more forgiving towards her.

Ariana Grande’s new tattoo means Japanese style bbq grill, not 7 rings.

And then going full Cat Valentine, adding: “It’s very pointless I don’t even know why I’m talking about this anymore” taking much Bibble to placate, but also addressing the error revealed in the Japanese character tattoo that she got on the palm of her hand that rather than “7 rings” actually translated to shichirin, making it a homage for a tiny Japanese style BBQ grill (theguardian.com, Jan. 2019) before getting it reworked but again somewhat erroneously to something akin to Japanese BBQ finger (tmz.com, Jan. 2019)—yes, seriously.

“I can’t read or write kanji obviously,” she said after someone said she would apologise for using the language. “What do you want me to do? It was done out of love and appreciation. What do you want me to say?”

Updated 15th February 2019

And with it only February certainly suggesting it really is going to be Ariana’s record breaking year:

Ariana Grande: The Thank U, Next singer scores UK chart double (bbc.co.uk).

Ariana Grande’s latest album Thank U, Next has broken a UK chart record after debuting at number one.

Breaking the record for most streams of an album, a record she set herself with last years Sweetner, and also her new single “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” occupying the top with “7 Rings” holding the second spot in the UK singles chart, the first female artist to replace herself at number one and only the second female artist to fill the top two spots at the same time, and with a lil’ help from her determined Arianators:

Why Ariana Grande fans are promoting a ‘7 Rings’ boycott (complex.com).

Grande’s fans began promoting the #Boycott7Rings movement on Twitter to dethrone the single and propel her other Thank U, Next song “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” to the number one spot. In order to secure the song’s dominance over “7 Rings,” fans are asking that streams be relocated to “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” The orchestra of Arianators caught Grande’s attention, which is when the singer decided to weigh in.
Ariana Grande: “y’all are so insane and funny and i love u. nothings funnier than ‘boycott seven rings’… i can’t lmao. whatever’s meant to be will be, babies i ain’t goin nowhere #thankunext”

Updated 19th February 2019

And on her own side of the Atlantic pond:

Ariana Grande claims Nos. 1, 2 & 3 on Billboard Hot 100, is first act to achieve the feat since The Beatles in 1964 (billboard.com).

With “7 Rings” in the top spot for a fourth week, “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored“ debuting at No. 2 and “Thank U, Next” rebouding to No. 3.

Ariana Grande becomes the first artist to hold the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964, as her new album Thank U, Next launches at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums tally.

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