Ariana Grande is ready for a fresh start in 2024. After teasing her new album earlier this week, the singer reflected on being “deeply misunderstood” in 2023 as she shared photos of herself in the studio making her upcoming album on Instagram.
“One of the most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life,” Grande wrote. “There were so many beautiful and yet polarized feelings. I’ve never felt more at the mercy of and in acceptance of what life was screaming to teach me.”
“I feel more human than ever. I feel more deeply than ever. I feel softer and stronger, all at once,” she later added.
She also shared that she gave “my heart” to the projects she worked on, including the upcoming new Wicked film adaptation.
“I have never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don’t know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life,” she wrote. “I have learned how much more important one of those things is than the other.”
“I have never felt more tightly held or fiercely protected by those who love and understand me,” she added. “I feel safe, even amidst so many things I’d usually be afraid of. I am listening to and trusting myself, even when fear or trauma tells me not to.”
2023 was a year of ups and downs for Grande, who separated from her husband, Dalton Gomez, after two years of marriage. She also started dating Broadway actor Ethan Slater later that summer while on the set of Wicked, in which he also stars.
Looking ahead, the singer vowed to “react to things that deserve my energy only” in the new year. She ended her note by wishing her fans a “happy, healthy” new year.
Also, on her Instagram Story, the singer shared multiple images of herself in the studio working on her upcoming album as early as September 2023. She also shared several behind-the-scenes pictures of her life from earlier in the year and her matching tattoo with Wicked‘s Cynthia Erivo.
Earlier this week, the singer posted some BTS photos of her in the studio with the caption, “See you next year.” Among the images was one of songwriter and producer Ilya — who worked on “Problem,” “God Is a Woman,” and “No Tears Left to Cry” — in the studio. She also shared a video of her mother, Joan, dancing in a muted video to what was ostensibly her new music, as well as a selfie in front of a producer booth.
In a post in early December, Grande included several slides of herself working on new music as A-list artists left comments sharing their excitement for the new music era on the way. “FINALLY,” wrote Selena Gomez. “UN MUTE PLS,” commented Billie Eilish. “Oh this bout to eat,” wrote SZA. “She’s HOME!!!” added Victoria Monét.
The singer also shared a selfie with Max Martin from the rooftop of Jungle City Studios in New York City.
Grande’s last musical release was 2020’s Positions, with a deluxe edition of that record arriving the following year. Thank U, Next dropped in 2019 and Sweetener was released in 2018. This year, Grande reissued her fan-favorite LP Yours Truly in honor of its tenth anniversary.