While she didn’t call him out by name, the songstress addressed Tekashi69’s comments in a cryptic statement on May 18, sharing how she feels honored to have taken the top spot.
Ariana, 26, began by thanking her fans for their unwavering support over the years, noting she felt compelled to speak out about something that has been brought to her attention. “Anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything I do,” she explained.
“I’m grateful to sing. Grateful to have people who want to listen. Grateful to even be here at all. I didn’t have a No. 1 for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. My fans are everything to me. I promise I couldn’t ask for another f–king thing.”
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thank u to everybody who supported this song, this cause and made this happen. we love uuuuu so much. 🤍 there’s so much to celebrate today. 🤍 however, i would like to say a few things. anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything i do. i’m grateful to sing. grateful to have people who want to listen. grateful to even be here at all. i didn’t have a number one for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. my fans are everything to me. i promise i couldn’t ask for another fucking thing. so with this celebration today, i would like to address a few things which i don’t usually do (i don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)…my fans bought the song. JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE). they are ride or die motherfuckers and i thank god every day that i have them in my life. not just when they fight for us to win (even when i ask them not to as i did this week) but because they’re some of the greatest people i know. sales count for more than streams. u can not discredit this as hard as u try. to anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women (and only the women for some reason…..), i ask u to take a moment to humble yourself. be grateful you’re even here. that people want to listen to u at all. it’s a blessed position to be in. i’ve had a lot of “almost number ones” in my career and i never said a goddamn thing because I FEEL GRATEFUL TO EVEN BE HERE. TO WANT TO BE HEARD AT ALL …. and you should feel that way too. congratulations to all my talented ass peers in the top ten this week. even number 3. 🥰 and thank u to @billboard for this honor. and thank u to everybody who helped us raise a lot of money for a very important cause this week. love u all a lot.
The “Thank U, Next” singer pointed out she doesn’t usually waste any “energy” on “drama or strange accusations normally,” but this time, it “has gone a little too far.”
“JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE). They are ride or die motherf–kers and I thank god every day that I have them in my life,” she wrote. “Not just when they fight for us to win (even when I ask them not to as I did this week), but because they’re some of the greatest people I know.”
Ariana said haters can not “discredit” this accomplishment no matter how hard they try. “I ask [you] to take a moment to humble yourself. Be grateful you’re even here,” she added. “It’s a blessed position to be in.”
The performer then congratulated her “talented ass peers in the top 10 this week, even number 3,” which is of course 6ix9ine, 24, for his track “Gooba.” To conclude her statement, she showed appreciation to Billboard.
So, how did this drama start? After his first post-prison track debuted as No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart, the rapper released a video. “I want the world to know, that Billboard is a lie,” he declared, adding, “You can buy No. 1’s on Billboard.” Tekashi69 (legal name: Daniel Hernandez) went on to suggest that Ariana and Justin’s team helped boost their numbers.
“They purchased half of those things with six credit cards,” he alleged, claiming it’s all fabricated. “When we asked where was those six credit cards linked to, Billboard said we can’t disclose that information.”
Justin, 26, has since fired back at Tekashi69 in his own statement, saying the rapper’s streams do count. “He is counting his global streams and this is a domestic chart so only domestic streams count,” the singer wrote. “60,000 units came because we don’t disclose our numbers until end of week. That’s called strategy.”
Justin told the rapper not to “discredit” their fan base with “false info,” adding how proud he is to have collaborated with Ariana on the song to “help raise money for a great cause.”
Amid the drama, Tekashi69 released yet another video telling Ariana she’s a “beautiful and talented singer” that deserves all the success she’s found, assuring her he’s only got an issue with Billboard.
“All I’m saying is I worked super hard to make it out of Brooklyn N.Y. I speak for the millions of kids who aren’t as fortunate as you,” he captioned the clip. “The millions who weren’t fortunate to be on T.V. LIFE is REAL when you’re on welfare. LIFE is REAL when you grow up with out a father. You don’t know what that is like. You say for me to be humble … I don’t think you know what humble is … YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL GOD BLESS YOU. But you will NEVER UNDERSTAND MY PAIN.”