Fans thought Ariana Grande lent her vocals to ‘Donda’s title track alongside Kanye West — but it turns out the lyrics were sung by singer Stalone!
Ariana Grande, 28, was not featured on Kanye West‘s long-anticipated album Donda. Following three listening events and weeks of anticipated release, the project finally appeared on streaming services as of Saturday, Aug. 28. A voice very similar to Ariana’s appeared on the track “Donda” — particularly the female voice harmonizing on the lyric “Forever, forever, no” at the top of the song — but it turns out that the feature belongs to singer Stalone.
Stalone later sings the line “chase the time,” during a powerful recording by the late Donda West, who passed away in Nov. 2007 following complications from surgery. After fans thought the voice belonged to Ari, the Sam & Cat native took to Instagram to clear the air. “You sound beautiful,” Ariana wrote over an IG story, sharing a post from the indie artists’ Instagram promoting Donda. Stalone, who is a GRAMMY winner, joins a lengthy list of big names on the project: Jay-Z, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and Playboi Carti are just a few celebs who have guest verses. Controversially, Marilyn Manson and DaBaby were also included.
If Ariana did appear on the album, it would have been surprising given the pairs’ past history: back in 2018, Ariana posted a tweet in response to barbs being exchanged by Kanye and Drake. At the time, she and Miley Cyrus were about to drop new songs — so Ari politely asked the men to “just behave” for a few hours to let “us girls shine” later that evening. Kanye replied making reference to his mental health.
“I know Ariana said this to be cool and didn’t mean no harm but I don’t like even slightest level of slight commentary from someone I know loves and respects me,” the Yeezy designer tweeted back. “All of this foolishness weighed on my mental health so @ArianaGrande you know I got love for you but until you’re ready to really make sure everyone’s ok don’t use me or this moment to promote a song,” he then accused.
I know Ariana said this to be cool and didn’t mean no harm but I don’t like even slightest level of slight commentary from someone I know loves and respects me pic.twitter.com/T9VXaIj9MX
— ye (@kanyewest) December 15, 2018
Shortly after, Ariana apologized. “With all due respect, i don’t need to use anyone to promote anything. period,” she replied in Dec. 2018. “i was making a comment ab what men were doing at the time vs. women. it was a joke which i understand now was probably insensitive. i apologize if i was in any way triggering and hope u feel well today.”
Kanye played the full-length Donda album for the first time at a July listening event held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Estranged wife Kim Kardashian, 40, was in attendance, supporting him with a matching red Balenciaga ensemble. Kanye followed the event up with a second in Atlanta and a third just days ago in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Kim was once again present for the Chicago show, also participating as she appeared on stage in an eyebrow raising white wedding dress.