Following the traumatic event, Ariana Grande returned to music with her fourth album, Sweetener. In a May 2018 interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she not only debuted her platinum blonde hair, but also the meaning behind her album. “Why is it called Sweetener?” Fallon asked. “Because it’s kind of about, like, bringing light to a situation or to someone’s life or somebody else who brings light to your life or sweetening the situation,” she said.
That same year, Grande also revealed in an interview with Time the meaning behind her single “No Tears Left to Cry.” “When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy,” she said. “It poured out into the music.” She went on to break down the music video for the song saying, “We’ve messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again, because I feel like I’m finally landing back on my feet now.”
At the time of the Manchester bombing, Grande was dating rapper and singer Mac Miller. However, on May 10, 2018, the couple broke up.