Nathan Sykes, one-fifth of the English boy band one-hit wonders The Wanted (“Glad You Came,” you remember it), dated Ariana Grande for five months in 2013. They even recorded a song together, “Almost Is Never Enough,” on her debut album, Yours Truly. It’s about a breakup, foreshadowing an extremely brief relationship between two 20-year-olds we all immediately forgot about.
TMZ always remembers, however, and they found Sykes at LAX airport (who is apparently a solo artist now?) and asked him if he felt left out of Ari’s perfect breakup banger, “thank u, next.” As you recall, it name checks her most recent ex-boyfriends from oldest to most recent: Big Sean (2014), Ricky Alvarez (2015), Mac Miller (2016 - 2018) and Pete “BDE” Davidson (2018). Nathan is nowhere to be found.
Sykes says he doesn’t feel excluded and that he hasn’t even listened to the song yet, though he’s “heard it’s amazing. That’s fantastic,” he tells the cameraman. “I think if people are releasing good music and they’re happy with the music they’re releasing, I think that’s great.” Insightful.
It did not occur to me to dive into Grande’s past relationships beyond the four she names in the track and that’s probably for the best. By that knowledge, we should be asking about Jai Brooks of Australian boy band/Jackass-worshippers The Janoskians, who she dated for a little over a year, from late summer 2012 to fall 2013. (They don’t have any songs you would know, but I still love “Best Friends.” There’s no reason to think about them.) If you really wanna go there, what about Graham Phillips of The Good Wife? They dated from 2008 to 2011, when Grande was a Nickelodeon star still rocking her natural skin tone.
Even if Sykes is thrilled he wasn’t included in “thank u, next”, which is a fine reaction, I suppose, maybe my guy should listen to the thing first? At the very least, he’ll learn he didn’t teach her love, patience, or pain...but he sure did teach us all to ask, “Who?”
Now that you know, never forget.