Ariana Grande has a lot to celebrate, as it’s on easy feat to become number one at anything, much less of all time. And yet, that’s where she finds herself after Spotify declared that she is the platform’s new all-time top streamer.
Grande quickly jumped on Instagram to thank her fans for their ardent support in playing her music a whopping 20.5 billion times on the platform. And then she took a moment to celebrate the artist she’d surpassed, and even playfully called her out.
Part of the reason Grande even had a shot at this record is because former title holder Rihanna continues to not release new music, much to the disappointment and mounting frustration of her fans.
And they’re not alone, as Grande was more than ready to relinquish her freshly-minted crown to her predecessor. In her Instagram post, she wrote, “now can rihanna pls drop her album so she can rightfully snatch this back and fill my ears again please or ….
As RiRi focuses on activism and fashion and other ventures, it seems that every move is met with cries like, ‘Yeah, yeah, this is great, but where is ‘R9’?” the nickname given to what would be her ninth studio album.
Grande has released three albums (“Dangerous Woman,” “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next”) in the time since Rihanna’s last album release in January 2016 (“Anti”). It’s also to Grande’s credit that she achieved the honor with only five album releases.
That said, it also feels necessary to note that all of her music has been released in what could be called the streaming era, whereas Rihanna’s early work preceded it.
Yes, streaming has excited since the ’90s, but Billboard recently declared the year 2013 (the same year Grande’s debut album hit) as the year it truly began to dominate and change the industry.
As for Rihanna, she will someday return to the airwaves to challenge Grande for Spotify supremacy. She told ET last month during the launch of her Fenty Skin line that she was “always working on music.”
“When I am ready to put it out in the way that I feel fit, it’s gonna come out,” she shared. “And you’re not going to be disappointed when it happens. It’s going to be worth it.”
While Grande will continue to rack up streams between now and then — as will Rihanna, we suspect — it should be interesting if Grande has to quickly give up her title once R9 finally drops. Or perhaps she’ll answer with A6.
Or they’ll just collaborate, break the entire internet, and call it a day.