Ariana Grande Won’t Perform at the Grammys, But She’ll Get Her Own Apple Ad During the Show

It even features the song she'd planned to sing on stage

Ariana Grande's Memoji (a customized, animated emoji enabled with iOS 12) performs '7 Rings.' Apple
Headshot of David Griner

Ariana Grande fans are going to have a roller coaster of a Grammy Awards this Sunday.

She’s nominated for two Grammys—best pop solo performance for “God Is a Woman” and best pop album for Sweetener. But she’s also been venting some very public frustration with the awards show, whose producer implied the superstar singer was to blame for not performing at the live event. Instead, she says the organizers wanted her to do a medley of their choosing rather than perform her new single, “7 Rings.”

Grande didn’t walk away with a Grammy when she was previously nominated in 2015 (losing to Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour) and 2017 (when Adele’s album 25 swept the pop categories), but even if that streak continues, fans will have one thing to enjoy: Apple’s new 60-second spot featuring Grande.

The ad turns her into a Memoji to perform—you guessed it—”7 Rings,” the very song she’d intended to perform at the Grammys.

So what is a Memoji? It’s an evolution of Apple’s Animoji feature that debuted in 2017, letting you turn yourself into a talking or singing animal. Memojis, unveiled with iOS 12 last year, allow you to customize the animated head in your own liking, a la Bitmoji.

To help popularize and promote the feature, Apple has created two other Grammy ads, featuring Khalid’s new song “Talk” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Simple.”


@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."