When Ariana Grande dropped her new album Positions in October, fans were quick to find references to her past loves. On one song in particular, her duet with The Weeknd titled “Off the Table,” Grande seems to sing about trying to move on and fall in love again after losing Mac Miller, her boyfriend of two and a half years who passed away from an accidental overdose in September 2018, just months after the couple had broken up.
But fans have also discovered a more subtle tribute to the late rapper hidden within the album. One TikTok user named maraleebell posted a video where she explains that in two tracks, “Positions” and “Just Like Magic,” you can hear cricket sounds after lyrics that reference the word “heaven.” For example, in “Positions,” there are crickets after Grande sings the opening line, “Heaven sent you to me.” Then in “Just Like Magic,” around the 1:19 mark, Grande sings, “Take my pen and write some love letters to heaven,” before the song pauses to highlight the sound of a cricket. Fans think this is a tribute to Miller, whose song “Crickets” was posthumously released earlier this year.
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maraleebell explains her theory further in the TikTok, saying that while the crickets could just be a coincidence, she thinks Grande considers Miller her “guardian angel and is thanking him for keeping a loving eye on her.”
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This isn’t the first album where fans noticed possible tributes to Miller; with her last album, thank u, next, Grande released a song titled “imagine,” a word that fans pointed out Miller had tattooed on his arm. She also explicitly references him in the title track, when she sings: “Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel”
In July 2019, Grande opened up to Vogue about mourning Miller and ending their relationship, saying that her grief was “pretty all-consuming.” She continued, “By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, fuck. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming… less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”
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