In an interview with The New York Times ahead of her YouTube Originals documentary Dancing With the Devil opening SXSW on Tuesday (March 16), Lovato confirmed her collaboration with Grande was one of the last-minute editions to her upcoming album Dancing With the Devil…The Art of Starting Over, which will arrive on April 2.
On March 7, Ari posted a video of her vocals on her Instagram Story with the caption “backgrounds on a song for a friend,” which Lovato reposted with a series of six sneaky-eye emojis. When a fan DMed Lovato about the “last minute” collab she had previously hinted at (and was once rumored to be with Noah Cyrus), she simply sent back a smiley face emoji.
DARIANA IS COMING pic.twitter.com/49Wm5CWXpM
— Ariana Grande Charts (@ArianaGonCharts) March 7, 2021
On Monday, Lovato revealed the name and release date of her upcoming seventh studio album on her socials. In her introductory Clubhouse room that same night, she noted that Dancing With the Devil…The Art of Starting Over would contain 17 songs and three bonus tracks, the most she’s ever released on an album, that will feature a blend of country, soul and ’90s pop, while mostly being categorized as pop.
Her NYT interview explicitly describes two of the songs, “Melon Cake,” a track about regaining control that was inspired by the watermelon “cakes” coated with fat-free whipped cream that Lovato used to receive on birthdays instead of actual cakes, and “California Sober,” a midtempo track that signals where she’s at with her recovery currently. In an interview with Ellen from March 2020, the 28-year-old singer explained why it was so meaningful to share a real birthday cake with Grande and their manager Scooter Braun when she turned 27.
“I just remember crying because I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn’t need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey,” Lovato said. Grande later applauded her for sharing this story, writing on her Instagram Story, “Love u a lot and am endlessly proud.”
The new album not only serves as a companion album to her Dancing With the Devil doc but also the long-awaited follow-up to her last album Tell Me You Love Me from 2017, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200.