Ariana Grande explains why she’s been crying during performances

Embed from Getty Images
Ariana Grande is on her Sweetener World Tour in support of her fourth studio album, Sweetner, released last summer. She’s currently just over 3 months into the tour, and a couple of fans have posted videos of her crying mid-performance at some of the shows. She thanked her fans in a Sunday Instagram post (which has since been deleted). People has more:

Ariana Grande… was seen in a concertgoer’s video breaking down into tears at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday, while singing “R.E.M.,” a love song Grande’s fans connect to her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson.

Similar tears were shed on June 12, according to another fan-shot viral video which showed Grande getting emotional before singing the late Mac Miller‘s name in her hit tune, “Thank U, Next,” during a performance at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Miller’s hometown).

During both events, the singer was showered with cheers of support from the crowd, something for which she said in her note on Sunday that she was grateful for.

“I feel everything very intensely and have committed to doing this tour during a time in my life when I’m still processing a lot … so sometimes I cry a lot!” Grande wrote in an Instagram post which has since been deleted. “I thank you for accepting my humanness.”

“I’m not sure what I did to deserve to meet so many loving souls every night / to feel so much love, but I want you to know that it really does carry me through,” she added. “I feel it and I appreciate it. And all of you so so much.”

Grande began her post by explaining that life on tour, is “wild” but that the kindness she’s experienced both on stage and off has helped her immensely.

“I’m grateful for the sea of love I have around me every day and for the people who come to these shows and give all of us every ounce of energy they’ve got. I’m grateful to work with the best musicians and dancers in the world. I’m grateful for my voice and my team. I’m grateful for this music. I’m grateful for my tour bus driver, Kurt, who bought me pickles yesterday because he saw we ran out. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sing for thousands of people every night. It’s a dream come true.”

“No matter how hard it gets or how many feelings come up that are screaming at me to be processed and sorted through one day, I’m grounded by gratitude and promise not to give up on what I’ve started,”

“I’m sharing this because I’m grateful and because I want you to know that if you too are hurting, you can push through and are not alone,” the Grammy-winning artist said. “It is hard to balance taking care of the people around you, doing your job, and healing / taking care of yourself at the same time … but I want you to know, you aren’t along and I think you’re doing great. Love you.”

[From People]

Ariana’s Instagram message was lovely; I’m not sure why she deleted it. It’s sweet of her to thank her fans, and also to send a message of hope to anyone who might need it. (This reminds me of Lizzo’s empowering message to her fans at the Glastonbury Festival.) I can’t imagine how draining it is to go on tour, to have to be “on” every night for your fans and give them a great show, while you’re also dealing with whatever is going on in your personal life. Ariana, of course, has had a rough couple of years, with the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester, the death of her ex, Mac Miller, and her breakup with Pete Davidson, to whom she was engaged at the time.

While I was looking through old posts about Ariana, I also ran across this one that Celebitchy wrote last summer, in which Ariana discussed that she’d been diagnosed with PTSD after the Manchester attack. She also said that she’d always lived with anxiety, though she noted, “I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it.” Given the terrorist attack in Manchester, it doesn’t seem surprising that Ariana might cry while performing. She has all my respect for being able to continue to perform. I can imagine that it’s perhaps a wonderful experience, but also might be slightly terrifying sometimes. Combine that with more devastating or upsetting events in quick succession, I’m not surprised that she’s crying while performing, as her emotions are probably running high already. I feel like I’ve written this a lot lately, but I hope that she’s taking care of herself, and also that the next time she posts a message that is meant to help herself and her fans, she doesn’t delete it.

photos credit: Getty and via Instagram

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

21 Responses to “Ariana Grande explains why she’s been crying during performances”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Arizona says:

    the video of her crying when she’s singing thank you next made me cry. I really feel for her, and I wonder if maybe some time away from performing would be good for her. are we close to when Mac passed away? I don’t remember when it happened but I’m wondering if that’s why she’s been crying more often lately.

    • Gutterflower says:

      He died Sept 7 2018

    • Princess Caroline says:

      I saw her when she came to Pittsburgh and she was great. I was wondering what her response would be bc everyone here absolutely loves Mac and I knew the crowd would go nuts. I love and have a lot of respect for Ariana, I hope she’s taking care of her mental health and takes a much deserved break after this tour.

  2. Margo Smith says:

    This doesn’t seem like a healthy choice to me. She should be processing everything and she’s not, she’s pushing it down and occasionally it’s boiling up to the surface and she loses it. Mental health is so important too. It’s important not to push it too far. I hope she takes a break after this tour.

    • SM says:

      Every successful artist has spoken about how they have no choice but to keep on going. Management, the pressure of sustaining success (especially in this digital era where you hardly make money on music sales), record labels, tour managers, etc. It all puts pressure and they go on not taking time off when they really need it. And I can imagine doing shows after you had a terrorist attack on one of your shows is just terrifying. Probably every time she goes on stage. But probably the people around her have no time for her mental health.
      There is so much abuse in music business just by extension of it being commercialised. I receny listened to interview of Shirley Manson of Garbage, she is a woman in her 50ies still making rock music and touring in a very male dominated world and she discussed these factors and how they put immense pressure especially on female performers and how the shift to digital form of music and social media added even more to that. She was very vocal against a young girls being made into cash machines for music business moguls. Feels like whatever reckoning is happening in Hollywood about the corrupt power that destroys lives is not happening in music business. And it is a shame. Because actors at least pretend to be someone else, whether musicians expose themselves and hence are even more vulnerable.

    • KL says:

      Crying isn’t necessarily “breaking down,” even though the original article worded it that way. Crying can be part of processing, which Grande says is what she’s doing. And part of mental health awareness is respecting what an individual shares about their mental health without projecting any kind of diagnosis or external impression onto them.

    • Janie says:

      She said on twitter a while back that touring is good for her PTSD because of the structure it brings to her life. As someone with personal experience with PTSD, that’s definitely legit.

  3. Dana marie says:

    Malcolm was such an exceptionally talented guy. It makes me want to cry too to know that his career was just taking off with his new jazz rap music but we will never get to see him at his highest musical potential. I’m sad that we will never get to hear his new creations and what could have been. I feel that Ariana thinks about this constantly too when she sings about him ( Aside from the grief she feels from losing someone she was in a relationship with. Being in a relationship with someone who abuses drugs is hard especially when you don’t participate).

  4. Ellie says:

    Immense Respect, she is a professional and committed to her fans too. After this tour she should really put herself first, she has been through so much and she deserves it.

    • Carrie says:

      Same. She articulated her position and feelings so well here. That’s not easy. She sets a wise and compassionate example. I really like her.

  5. Jane says:

    Guess which other pop star also basically had a breakdown and was pushed to keep working by the same pushy manager that Ariana also has? Yup. Justin Bieber! And guess who it is! Our favorite Scooter Braun! Seems those rumors of him overworking clients who are in a terrible mental state may not be so off base. Taylor Swift was right about him overall. Braun probably also made Ariana delete that post. Would probably cause issues for any cancelled insurance payments. All about the money for him after all.

    • Hikaru says:

      I am really really worried about Demi Lovato switching over to working for him. She is a self-sabotaging mess all on her own, I can only imagine how bad it is going to get once Scooter gets his way with her and starts profiting off her trauma.

      • Carrie says:

        While I don’t agree with the unkind characterization of Demi, I see your point.
        Yes, profiting off her trauma, plus setting her up to compound her trauma. People like Braun are not good and they often target others without a care in the world.

    • Lady Keller says:

      I came here to post the same thing. I hope someone around her cares enough about her to make sure her mental health is a priority since I really dont think her manager cares.

  6. cherriepie84 says:

    I have a feeling that the reason behind Rihanna being so slow to release new music….the burn out that comes with the tours, promotions etc. So I am happy that she has found other avenues to generate income such as her make up line, clothing and lingerie lines and clearly she is not missing the music industry. Arianna should probably take a break after this tour. It cannot be easy on the musicians and so without a strong support system most of them turn to drugs to “cope”

  7. otaku fairy... says:

    Her vogue cover is out too and she looks great. I hope Ariana takes care of herself and has supportive people around her. She’s got a lot on her plate. Hopefully 2019 will be a relatively peaceful year for her.

  8. KL says:

    As someone with an anxiety disorder: crying is not a symptom things are going badly, personally. I cry more when things are going well — when I can allow myself to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and exposed, and have the energy to release the buildup of chemicals my brain and body just naturally produce more of. The “bad” times are when I’m disassociating from any mental/emotional turmoil, making myself as numb as possible in order to just get through things and I’m afraid connecting to my feelings could cost me all self-control.

    Everyone is different, so I’m not trying to make a definitive statement. I do think it’s safe to say that we expect very specific emotional displays from pop stars, on the whole, so a break from that expected level of energy and performance of “good” feeling might be judged as more aberrant than it actually is.

    • N says:

      Agreed. I cry at the drop of a pin when I’m at my happiest.

    • katrine troelsen says:

      I have OCD and one time when it was really horrible and had been for days, when I finally was able to cry all the thoughts went away and my mind was free. Once I stiffled my tears (was embarrased and in public) the thoughts and anxiety came back. It was INSANE, the shift was so so so hard and black/white and it was OBVIOUS to me that the tears were not the problem, they were my friend.
      I am 31 now and still sometimes hold back tears even though I know they are good for me. Weird huh? This conditioning against tears

  9. Grant says:

    I don’t have anything constructive to say other than I feel for her and hope she is taking care of herself. I saw her in San Antonio and she was brilliant. She has a beautiful, powerful voice.

  10. Sam says:

    Look so like she’s getting lip injections