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Ariana Grande, Max Martin Fought Over ‘Break Free”s ‘Grammatically Incorrect’ Lyrics

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(Courtesy of Republic Records)

(Courtesy of Republic Records)

By Kevin Rutherford

Ariana Grande and Weird Al Yankovic have at least one thing in common, apparently: they’re both fairly concerned about grammar.

In a new interview with Time, Grande riffed on new single “Break Free,” which doesn’t exactly have the most sensical lyrics. Apparently, the erroneous lyrics are not Grande’s fault; rather, they’re Max Martin’s.

“I fought him on it the whole time,” Grande told the magazine. “‘I am not going to sing a grammatically incorrect lyric, help me God!’ Max was like, ‘It’s funny — just do it!’ I know it’s funny and silly, but grammatically incorrect things make me cringe sometimes.”

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The lyrics in question: “I only wanna die alive” and “Now that I’ve become who I really are.”

Eventually, Grande conceded.

“I was like, whatever, let’s do it and have some fun,” she said. “I need to shake it off and let it go and be a little less rigid and old. I’m like, 90. I need to not be that old.”

One can’t really fault the singer; producer Martin has a sizable track record of strange, nonsensical lyrics and songs in his nonetheless illustrious career. Many of those come from Martin’s early bubblegum pop days — remember “Sadness is beautiful / Loneliness is tragical” from Backstreet Boys’ “Shape of My Heart” or “Tell me / I’m not in the blue” out of Britney Spears’ “(You Drive Me) Crazy”? Then there’s Backstreet’s entire “I Want It That Way,” the lyrics of which were chopped and screwed so much as the song was written that the song doesn’t really make much sense anymore.

Not that it mattered much in any case; even the strangest of Martin lyrics and songs have still gone on to be massive hits, with “Break Free” seeming set to follow that path.

The song, featuring Zedd, is the second single from Grande’s My Everything, out later this month.

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