There’s no doubt Ariana Grande is a trendsetter. If you’ve snagged tickets to one of her back-to-back Miami shows, chances are your cat ear headband and XXL extensions are ready to go. But in the last couple of years, the star’s work has become as influential as her signature style. Sweetener—Grande’s first album after the May 2017 terrorist attack in Manchester, U.K.—brims with positivity. There are girl power anthems (“God Is a Woman”) and upbeat bops (“The Light is Coming,” “Successful”). But after the sudden passing of Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller followed by her public breakup with SNL star Pete Davidson, Grande put her heartbreak into her music and delivered thank u, next.
The album’s namesake prompted millions of Instagram captions and earned her Billboard’s 2018 Woman of the Year title. It also inspired Grande to launch #ThankUNextGen, a campaign that prompts her fans to raise their standards, both personally and politically. She even partnered with advocacy nonprofit HeadCount so fans can register to vote at her shows. High standards and ponies? Now that’s a trend we can get behind.