The Light Is Coming

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"The Light Is Coming"
The Light Is Coming cover art.png
Promotional single by Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
from the album Sweetener
ReleasedJune 18, 2018 (2018-06-18)
RecordedFebruary 2017
Producer(s)Pharrell Williams
Music video
"The Light Is Coming" on YouTube

"The Light Is Coming" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song by American singer Ariana Grande, featuring American rapper Nicki Minaj. Both artists co-wrote the song with its producer Pharrell Williams. It was released on June 20, 2018, as the first promotional single from Grande's fourth studio album, Sweetener.[1] The track debuted at number 95 and peaked at number 89 on the US Billboard Hot 100.


On May 27, 2018, Ariana Grande teased "The Light Is Coming" with a 21-second clip on her Instagram page.[2] On June 2, she debuted a preview of the song at Wango Tango, announcing that the song would be released on June 20, 2018, along with the pre-order of Sweetener.[3]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

The song runs for three minutes and forty-eight seconds.[4] It has influences of R&B and hip hop.[5] The sound is backed by Grande's vocals, singing, "The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole". The song contains a "jittery beat" that is used with quick drums and synths.[6][7] The song samples a CNN archive clip of a man named Craig Miller who is shouting at former senator Arlen Specter at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania in 2009 concerning healthcare ("You wouldn't let anybody speak for this and instead!").[8][9] Grande's vocals span 1 octave, from F#3 to G#4.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

"The Light Is Coming" received lukewarm reviews from music critics.[11] Mike Nied of Idolator described it as "a serious dance floor filler", writing: "The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole," [Grande] chants over militaristic drums and slippery synths. Her voice is confident and sounds perfectly at home as it races over the searing production, courtesy of Pharrell. All things considered, it sounds like the pop princess has another hit on her hands."[12] In the album review, however, Neid called it "a particularly glaring misstep."[13] Spin editor Israel Daramola described the song as a "glitchy, thumping" dance record with a sample that highlights Grande's "nursery rhyme-style melody" during the repeated chorus and her voice "is alive with feeling and thrives in the quirks and constant vibrancy of the music." He also praised Minaj for delivering a "strutting, paint-by-numbers verse in the time allotted" that is "perfectly suited to the heavy, ground shaking bass of the song".[14] Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone considered it a "weak spot" in the parent album.[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

"The Light Is Coming" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 95 selling 14,000 copies in its first week, allowing it to also debut on the Digital Songs chart at number 22.[16] The song fell off the Hot 100 the following week; however, it later re-entered at a new peak of number 89 following the release of Sweetener.[17]

Worldwide, the song debuted in the top-forty in Hungary and Scotland, peaking at numbers 24 and 22 respectively, while charting within the top 100 in six other territories including the United Kingdom, where it reached number 57 on the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Music video[edit]

Despite the song not being released as an official single, the music video for the song first premiered twelve hours after the song's release, via the Reebok official website.[18] It was directed by Dave Meyers, who had also directed the music video for Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry", and features Nicki Minaj performing her verse and Ariana Grande singing in a dimly-lit forest. The video was released worldwide on YouTube and Vevo the next day.

Live performances[edit]

Grande performed a preview of the song at Wango Tango on June 2, 2018 and is on the set list of her Sweetener World Tour.[3]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording and management


  • Ariana Grande – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Nicki Minaj – featured vocals, songwriting
  • Pharrell Williams – songwriting, production
  • Mike Larson – recording, digital editing, arrangement, additional programming
  • Jacob Dennis – recording assistant
  • Ramon Rivas – recording assistant
  • Brendan Morawski – recording assistant
  • Thomas Cullison – recording assistant
  • Ben “Bengineer” Sedano – recording assistant
  • Aubry “Big Juice” Delaine – Nicki Minaj's vocals recording
  • Kris Crawford – Nicki Minaj's recording assistant
  • Manny Park – Nicki Minaj's recording assistant
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Scott Desmarais – mix assistant
  • Chris Galland – mix assistant
  • Robin Florent – mix assistant
  • Randy Merrill – mastering

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Sweetener.[19]


Chart (2018) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[20] 60
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[21] 63
France (SNEP)[22] 70
Greece Digital Songs (Billboard)[23] 2
Hungary (Single Top 40)[24] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[25] 76
Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard)[26] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[27] 81
New Zealand Heatseekers (Recorded Music NZ)[28] 2
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[29] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[30] 57
US Billboard Hot 100[31] 89

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Worldwide June 20, 2018 Republic [32]


  1. ^ Tanzer, Myles (May 30, 2018). "Cover Story: Ariana Grande". The Fader. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "Ariana Grande Teases New Song "The Light Is Coming" Featuring Nicki Minaj: Listen". Spin. May 28, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Watch Ariana Grande Debut New Song 'The Light Is Coming' at Wango Tango". Rolling Stone. June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Sweetner by Ariana Grande". ITunes Store. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ariana Grande Links With Nicki Minaj On 'The Light Is Coming'". Clash Music. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "Ariana Grande Taps Nicki Minaj for New Song "The Light Is Coming": Listen". Pitchfork. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Hear Ariana Grande Tap Nicki Minaj for Snappy 'The Light Is Coming'". Rolling Stone. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Who Is The Man Sampled On Ariana Grande's 'The Light Is Coming'?". PopBuzz. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Ariana Grande's 'The Light Is Coming' Contains a Prominent Voice Sample With a Political Message". Billboard. June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Neid, Mike. "Ariana Grande's "God Is A Woman" Is A Sexually Liberated Bop". Idolator. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Nied, Mike. "Banger! Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj Bring The Heat On “The Light Is Coming”", Idolator, June 23, 2018
  13. ^ "Album Review: Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener'". Idolator.
  14. ^ Daramola, Israel. "Ariana Grande's 'The Light Is Coming' Is Hypnotic and Wonderfully Bizarre", Spin, June 22, 2018
  15. ^ Spanos, Brittany (August 20, 2018). "Review: Ariana Grande Finds Serenity and Has Some Fun on 'Sweetener'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  16. ^ . Billboard Retrieved June 30, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Zellner, Xander. "Ariana Grande Earns 10th Top 10 Hit, Lands 10 Songs on Billboard Hot 100", Billboard, August 27, 2018
  18. ^ ""THE LIGHT IS COMING" PREMIERE". Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Sweetener (Media notes). Ariana Grande. Republic Records. 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  20. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #479". auspOp. June 30, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  21. ^ "Ariana Grande Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  22. ^ " – Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj – The Light Is Coming" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  23. ^ "Greece Digital Songs". Billboard. June 30, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  25. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  26. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). July 16, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  27. ^ " – Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj – The Light Is Coming" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 2, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  29. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  31. ^ "Ariana Grande Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  32. ^ "The Light Is Coming". Retrieved June 16, 2018.