Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj hit the top 10 with their three-way diva-off, "Bang Bang," which they performed together live for the first time this past weekend at the MTV VMAs. But according to Ariana, the idea of the collaboration was something that was sprung on her with no warning -- so much so, she says, that she nearly had a heart attack.
In an interview posted on the Grammys website, Ariana explains that initially, she recorded "Bang Bang" as a solo number. "I recorded it and it was great and I loved it and I didn't really think about it; I was just like, 'OK, that was a fun one, moving on,' and I was just trying to finish the rest of the album, " she recalls. "And I didn't hear about it or think about it for, like, a really long time."
Then, she says, the head of her record company called her in and told her "I want to play you something." Ariana wasn't prepared for what she heard next.
"It was 'Bang Bang,' and Jessie J was singing it," Ariana recalls. "I was like, 'Oh my God.' I was like, 'This is amazing.' And then the second verse came in and it was me! And I was like, 'Am I about to have a duet with Jessie J'?"
It turns out that without her knowledge, and through the magic of technology, the song had been turned into a collaboration. Except, as she recalls, it wasn't just a duet.
"Nicki['s part] came in and I almost had a heart attack!" she laughs. "And so that was sort of how it happened. And it was a complete surprise to me and I was like, 'Just letting you know, if you ever do this again to me, if you surprise me like this again, you have to, like, be prepared. Like, you have to have inhalers and things here because I'm gonna need that help next time!'"
Ultimately, Ariana didn't mind being blindsided, since the song came out so well. "It was really fun and it was a really great surprise and it was awesome," she says. "I'm so happy that it happened that way."
"Bang Bang" is a bonus track on the deluxe version of Ariana's new album My Everything, and the lead single for Jessie's upcoming album Sweet Talker.
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