Grande’s visual for her new single, which is a house-tinged kiss-off to critics and a promise to keep living her “most authentic life,” draws inspiration from Abdul’s 1989 music video for “Cold Hearted,” one of Abdul’s many hits from the era.
Watch Ariana Grande’s “Yes, And?” Music Video:
Both videos feature an extended intro with skeptical people — in Grande’s case, critics; for Abdul, record label execs — arriving at a warehouse/dance studio to watch and judge each respective pop star’s performance.
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As each woman performs for their initially unimpressed audience, they do so with background dancers, as part of a heavily choreographed, Fosse-inspired dance sequence involving a scaffolding-like structure, eventually winning over the skeptics.
Each video ends with the curtains in each studio either being rolled up or torn away, letting the light back into the room.
Watch Paula’s Abdul’s “Cold Hearted” Music Video:
It’s unclear if Abdul has been a longtime musical inspiration for Grande, but considering the Sweetener singer’s love for other pop stars of the era, including Madonna, it makes sense Grande would take a note from Abdul’s videography.
And notably, Grande and Abdul have interacted before.
In 2015, Abdul presented Grande the award for Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock at the American Music Awards — the very same award Abdul herself won back in 1990. The two women shared an emotional embrace on stage during the moment.
Plus, in 2019, after Grande became the first woman to occupy the top three positions of the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously, Abdul congratulated her in a glowing tweet.
“Congratulations @ArianaGrande for making history, better yet, ‘Herstory’ … So happy for you and proud of you!” Abdul wrote on the social media platform.
“Cold Hearted” was Abdul’s third single to hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was released as the fifth single off Abdul’s massive debut 1988 album, Forever Your Girl, which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The album, which also produced hit singles “Opposites Attract” and “Straight Up,” is currently certified 7x Platinum.
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