If you’re a pop lover who perused Instagram at any point yesterday (January 18), there’s a decent chance you saw a certain photo that caused heart palpitations the world over upon its posting. I’m talking, of course, about Dua Lipa’s heavenly selfie with Ariana Grande.
That’s right — the “New Rules” singer apparently had a casual mid-week hangout with Ariana and blessed fans with hard evidence. Behold: two pop princesses puckering up for the camera with halos over their heads and wings at their sides.
Disappointingly, Dua kept the caption simple by adding a single pink heart emoji, which, yes, is cute, but doesn’t give us ANY INFORMATION WHATSOEVER about what these two were up to! So, in an attempt to contextualize this picture-perfect hang, here are five likely (ish) scenarios that could’ve brought Ari and Dua together.
A collab for #AG4!
We know that Ariana is hard at work on her fourth album. It’ll be the follow-up to 2016’s Dangerous Woman, which boasted collaborations with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Future, and Macy Gray. Since Ari’s projects tend to be feature-heavy, is it possible she recruited Dua for a special duet? Seems like a definite possibility, especially after some eagle-eyed fans noticed that Dua was recently followed on Instagram by songwriters Savan Kotecha and Ilya Salmanzadeh, who worked with Ari on “Love Me Harder” and “Side to Side.”
A collab for #DL2!
Dua, meanwhile, has said she’s also writing and recording new music for her sophomore album. She’s already given us a taste of what’s to come with “IDGAF,” and an Ari collaboration would certainly seem at home on her typically bold, empowered, poppy material. Plus, Dua said last year that working with Ariana would be a dream come true. She told Z100, “I love Ariana Grande. She's amazing. It’s unbelievable. It's like 'How does that [voice] come out of you? Where is it?' I'd love to work with her.”
They’re planning for the NME Awards
Both popstars were recently nominated for the VO5 NME Awards, which will hit London on February 14. Dua’s up for Best Track, Best Video, and Best British Solo Artist, while Ariana earned a Hero of the Year nomination honoring her actions in the wake of the attack in Manchester last year. Could they be plotting a joint performance or appearance together? Or maybe they were just comparing style notes about what to wear on the red carpet? The awards show is on Valentine’s Day, so here’s hoping they wear matching red and pink ensembles.
They were plotting something for Mac Miller’s birthday
Ariana’s boyfriend’s birthday is today (January 19), and maybe she called on her pal Dua to help her plan a raging surprise party. After all, Dua’s sense of style is practically unparalleled, and if she can coordinate squad-heavy music videos as impeccably as she can plan parties, then she’d certainly be the one (be the one!) to call.
They were dreaming up a festival takeover
Dua was once asked by Glamour about her dream lineup for an all-women festival, and while she didn’t mention Ariana by name, she insinuated that a female-only festival is indeed a dope idea. Considering the growing frustration over male-dominated festival lineups (as pointed out recently by Halsey and Ellie Goulding), could Ari and Dua be taking matters into their own hands? It’s a far stretch, I’ll admit, but a dream scenario nonetheless.
So, after all of that, the most likely scenario seems to be an actual musical collaboration. Here’s hoping that’s the case! Until we find out for sure, let this fan-made “New Rules”/“Into You” mashup fuel your collab dreams.