Halsey's "Without Me" just said "thank u, next" to, well, "Thank U, Next." After several weeks of occupying the No. 1 and No. 2 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with Ariana Grande in the lead, Halsey's epic breakup anthem has officially surpassed Grande's epic breakup anthem. And while you might think Grande losing her first-ever, No. 1-single spot would be a bummer for her, Ariana Grande's reaction to Halsey dethroning "Thank U, Next" was the complete opposite of any sad, competitive feeling.
On Jan. 8, Halsey posted to her Instagram in celebration of her first-ever solo No. 1 (she had previously shared the No. 1 spot with The Chainsmokers for 12 weeks thanks to "Closer").
"#1 on billboard. wow. very overwhelmed and confused and so very very very VERY happy," she started off in her caption. "This song came from a very lonely place, and brought me to one of the most loved and supported moments of my lifetime."
The caption went on,
This achievement is completely beyond my means of comprehending right now so I’ll get back to you guys when I find more eloquent and compelling things to say. Right now my brain is a washing machine of emotion. On a very high cycle. I love you very much.
Grande, whose "Thank U, Next" was sitting cozy at No. 1 for seven weeks, congratulated Halsey on her Instagram story saying, "F*ck it up @iamhalsey. To girls on top all 2019."
Halsey thanked Grande by responding on her own story. "Luv u bb," she said. "Dynamic women who are headstrong + compassionate all 2019." Here's to women creating self-aware, female-centric breakup anthems in 2019 and beyond!!"
A fun little addition to this female-dominated Billboard chart is that around Christmas, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" shot up to the No. 3 spot, giving us the first time since 2014 that women occupied the top three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, according to MTV News. (Carey's Christmas classic bumps up onto the top charts every holiday season, by the way. We stan a Christmas queen with staying power.)
I'm loving all of this positive female energy in 2019. There's no reason the women should feel any competition with each other, quite frankly, since both of the songs are killer breakup anthems, albeit told from differing emotional states.
"Thank U, Next" takes the typical breakup song style and flips it on its head, telling a story about all of the things her past relationships taught her and how the experiences made her ~so amazing~. Halsey's "Without Me" tells a story of a woman who put so much emotional labor into a relationship with a man, just for him to mistreat her when he's finally in a better place (largely thanks to her help).
The thing both of the singles have in common is that they're both unapologetically about their famous exes. Grande is more straightforward about this, as she lists her exes by name in the song (Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Pete Davidson, and Mac Miller). Halsey's lyrics aren't as direct, but in interviews about the song, she has clearly stated that the song was inspired by the place her relationship with rapper G-Eazy left her in (as well as some toxic friendships).
In an interview with Zach Sang in October 2018, Halsey said,
I’ll tell you what. It happened when I looked at my relationships all around me. All of them – cause this song is not just about one — and it made me sit down and go ‘I feel like I’ve given so much to relationships with people in my life and I’m getting nothing back’… and so I cut a lot of people out of my life. Some temporarily, obviously, because G and I are back together. And some permanently.
She and G-Eazy were back together at the time of this interview, but broke up again later that month. And clearly, she's doing much better without him... I'm just sayin'. Thank u, next.