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Ariana Grande Is Ready to Be Happy

Ariana Grande is happy, and it’s important to her that people know that. Still, it would be hard to miss her happiness on this sunny spring day at a ramshackle house in Beverly Hills. It beams out of her as she sprawls on the lawn, murmuring in baby talk to Toulouse, her rescue beagle-chihuahua, and it suffuses the way she vogues out of the house into the yard, spinning and twirling in a frilly gray tulle dress.

She has a lot of reasons to be happy. At 24, Grande is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and she’s coming out with new music two years after her last album, the blockbuster Dangerous Woman. Her latest single is called “No Tears Left to Cry.” Going off the title, you’d expect a big torch ballad—she’s run out of tears! Instead, it’s a triumphant, ’90s-house-inflected pop confection, part breathy vocals and part spunky, spoken-word playfulness. She chose it carefully: “The intro is slow, and then it picks up,” she says. “And it’s about picking things up.”

Grande made a song about resilience because she has had to be resilient, in ways that are difficult to imagine, after a terrorist detonated a bomb outside her May 22, 2017, concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people and leaving more than 500 injured. What happened is part of the song, but the song is not about what happened. Instead of being elegiac, it’s joyful and lush, and Grande is proud of it, and of herself. “When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy,” she says. “It poured out into the music.” In the video for the song, she’s upside-down, the way life used to feel. “We’ve messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again,” she says, “because I feel like I’m finally landing back on my feet now.”