Ariana Grande‘s “Imagine” is wonderful. Its slow-burn tenderness is a nice counterpoint to the punchy virality of “Thank U, Next,” and “Imagine” opens itself up further the more you listen and find resonance within your own life and via your own experiences. Tuesday night (December 18), Ari brought that same grace to The Tonight Show, where she debuted the song on TV for the first time with a little help from The Roots.
Clad in a red Christmas sweater and singing in front of a wreathed and lighted stage setup, Grande made her way through the tune with some added live bounce from the band around her — culminating in a series of whistle notes. There’s something extra whimsical about it with the added holiday flare, you know?
“Imagine” is the second taste of her upcoming fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, which will likely drop sometime in early 2019. Grande’s been teasing it quite a bit, both in interviews and in candid replies to her fans on social media. One thing we can expect for sure is “feminine energy and champagne and music and laughter and crying.”
Ari also joined in recreating one of the most iconic holiday performances of all time: the goofy glory of “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” first executed by Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz, and Chris Kattan on Saturday Night Live in 2000. In this update, all the major players returned, and Grande stood between Kattan and Morgan with her hands on Kattan’s shoulders. Christmas cheer.
Watch both of those videos above, then check out MTV News’s roundup of everything you need to know about Ariana’s Thank U, Next album.