My Everything was preceded by the lead single "Problem", which features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. After its release on April 28, 2014, the single debuted at number three the week of May 17, selling over 400,000 copies in its first week and eventually peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. "Break Free", featuring German-Russian musician and producer Zedd, was released as the second single on July 2, and peaked at the fourth position on the Hot 100. The fourth single, "Love Me Harder", featuring The Weeknd, was released on September 30, 2014 and peaked at number seven. Final single "One Last Time" reached number thirteen. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015, My Everything was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Background and recording
"It's an album that I want to do a little bit different. I don't want it to sound like an extension of Yours Truly. I want it to sound like an evolution. I want to explore more sounds and experiment a little bit. I have a bunch of ideas I'm very excited about and a lot of stuff cooking."
Grande's debut studio album Yours Truly was released on September 3, 2013, and was met with critical acclaim. Later that month, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Grande stated that she had begun writing and working on her second studio album and had already completed two songs. Recording sessions began in October 2013 with Grande working with previous producers from her debut album Harmony Samuels and Tommy Brown. Grande was initially aiming at releasing the album around February 2014. In January 2014, Grande confirmed she had been working with new producers Ryan Tedder, Savan Kotecha, Benny Blanco, Key Wane and Max Martin. Grande stated in late February that she wanted to name her album after a song she had finished that weekend that is very honest and makes her cry.
It was announced on March 3, 2014 that Grande would be featured on the fifth single from Chris Brown's album X titled "Don't Be Gone Too Long". The single was originally set for release on March 25, 2014. However, it was postponed due to Brown being sent to jail awaiting trial on assault charges. Grande had announced the song's delay on March 17, 2014 via Twitter stating "My loves… so obviously some things have changed recently... So we have to delay the dbgtl countdown, some things are out of our control". That same night she held a live stream to make up for the single's delay, where she previewed four new songs from her second album. Two days following the announcement, Grande revealed that due to the song's delay, she would be releasing the first single from her upcoming sophomore studio album instead. She finished working on the album in late May 2014. On June 28, Grande confirmed the title of the album to be My Everything and the release date to be August 25, 2014. The photos for the packaging in the album were taken on May 27, 2014. Grande stated that she chose the cover artwork because she felt that "each song is so strongly themed that I just wanted to have a very simple overall cover. So that within each song we could create more visual themes."
Music and lyrics
My Everything is a pop-R&B album. It revisits the '90's retro-R&B style present in Grande's debut album Yours Truly: Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club, described the album as a "slick throwback to melodramatic ’80s and ’90s pop." The album's tracks include EDM, hip hop tunes and piano-driven ballads. The album opens with "Intro", in which Grande addresses her fans: "I'll give you all I have and nothing less, I promise". The second track is the lead single "Problem", an uptempo dance-pop song influenced by R&B,jazz, hip hop and funk.Rap-Up described the track as an "infectious horn-heavy jam" that features a "carefree" Grande "declaring her independence". It includes "an empowering verse from Iggy Azalea and a whispering Big Sean on the hook." "One Last Time" is a dance-pop and EDM-light song. The album continues with "Why Try", co-written and co-produced by Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco and features the lyrics "Now we're screaming just to see who's louder". Some critics expressed an opinion that the song has a similar composition with Beyoncé's "XO" (2013; also produced by Tedder).
The following track is the EDM song "Break Free". The song combines the EDM and electro genres. In an interview with Billboard, Grande described the song as "fantastic and super-experimental for [her]" and stated: "I never thought I'd do an EDM song, but that was an eye-opening experience, and now all I want to do is dance." The album's first of three ballads, "Best Mistake", features Big Sean. Billboard described it as "A moody ballad that grows stickier upon each listen, "Best Mistake" carries a tidy collection of impressive production details, the momentary string stabs among them". Musically, it is a minimal hip-hop piano ballad lament that utilizes instrumentation from strings and a drum machine. It tells a story about a couple trying to "make up their minds about the future of their relationship, with deep affection buried underneath their problems." "Be My Baby" featuring Cashmere Cat is a "bouncy R&B jam". The song was compared with Mariah Carey's songs. The eighth track, "Break Your Heart Right Back", featuring Childish Gambino, is about her boyfriend cheating on her with a man and contains the lyrics "I know you’re mad 'cause I found out / Want you to feel what I feel right now". The song interpolates Diana Ross's "I'm Coming Out."
"Love Me Harder", featuring The Weeknd, is a mid-tempo synthpop and R&B song, which starts small before its "'throbbing', electro-heavy chorus", with a guitar riff, while "big vacuum-esque synths zip" can be heard throughout the track. Rob Copsey wrote for The Official Charts Company that the song reminded him of Drake at his most emotional. Lyrically, the song has Grande demanding romantic satisfaction, using double entendres about BDSM. The track "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" is the album's second ballad, co-written by Harry Styles. Official Charts compared the eleventh track, "Hands on Me", featuring A$AP Ferg, with Rihanna's "Cockiness (Love It)" (2012) and Azalea's "Fancy" (2014). Jason Lipshutz of Billboard described "Hands on Me" as "an out-of-left-field banger that removes Grande from her teenybopper phase and finds the 21-year-old discovering her inner Rihanna with lines." The title track "My Everything" concludes the standard edition of the album on a somber note, recalling "Intro", and concerns Grande's struggles to regain the solid footing she once had with her partner.
The first bonus track on deluxe edition, "Bang Bang", featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj is an up-tempo, "soulful" song that features a "clap-heavy" production built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts". The next track was described by Billboard as "short, snappy and sumptuous, 'Only 1' is a light confection that succeeds due to its busy, intricate percussion". The deluxe edition of My Everything concludes with the track "You Don't Know Me".
Release and promotion
On June 28, 2014, Grande announced that her album would be available for pre-order through her website. Those who pre-ordered the album would get exclusive access to Grande's concert stream that will be held on August 24 where she will perform songs from her album live for the first time. Grande embarked on her first world tour titled The Honeymoon Tour in support of the album which began in February 2015.
In the weeks preceding the release of My Everything, several previews of songs from the album were released. On July 7, 2014 Grande posted a teaser of "Best Mistake" onto her Instagram page. The song features rapper Big Sean. On July 27, 2014, a preview of "Be My Baby" was filmed at a concert of featured artist, Cashmere Cat, and uploaded to YouTube, by a fan. Grande retweeted a link to the video on her Twitter profile. She then retweeted a second snippet on August 4. Twenty days before the album's release, Grande released a preview of "Love Me Harder", which features Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, onto her Instagram profile. On August 20, four songs from the album, "Why Try", "Be My Baby", "Love Me Harder", and "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart", were released courtesy of MTV.
On August 24, Grande opened the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards with "Break Free" and then later appeared to perform "Bang Bang" with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. Following her performance on the show, My Everything was released worldwide on August 25, 2014. During the week of its release, commercials aired on television to promote My Everything as well as the Beats Pill. On August 29, Grande performed "Problem", "Break Free", "Bang Bang", and "Break Your Heart Right Back" on The Today Show. In addition to performing, Grande was also interviewed, forecasted to weather and brought her grandmother for an interview of her own. On September 5, Grande performed the title track from My Everything during the Stand Up to Cancer television program in dedication to her grandfather, who had died from cancer earlier that year.
Grande premiered her first single "Problem", which features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards and released it for digital download later that night on April 28, 2014. The song debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 438,000 units in its first week making it the fifth largest debut by a woman in history. The single later peaked at number two on the Hot 100, holding that position for five non-consecutive weeks.  The single has sold 3.7 million copies in the US and has been certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in March 2016.
The second single, "Break Free", features electronic music producer Zedd and was released on July 2, 2014. The song debuted at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 with 161,000 downloads sold in its first week. After the release of the song's music video, "Break Free" soared on the Hot 100 from number 18 to number four,  while Grande's other singles, "Bang Bang" and "Problem" were also in the top ten that week, at numbers ten and seven respectively. With three songs in the top ten, Ariana Grande became the second female lead artist to have three singles in the top ten since Adele in 2012. It also reached number one on the BillboardDance/Electronic Digital Songs chart. "Break Free" has sold 1.9 million copies as of April 2018, and is certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
The fourth single, "Love Me Harder", which features Canadian PBR&B artist The Weeknd, was released to rhythmic crossover radio on September 30, 2014. It debuted at number 79, and later peaked at number seven on the Hot 100, making Grande the artist with the most top-ten singles in 2014. It also became The Weeknd's first top ten entry in the United States.  As of April 2018, the song had sold 1.7 million copies in the United States and has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
"One Last Time" was released to rhythmic crossover and contemporary hit radio stations on February 10, 2015, as the fifth and final single. It debuted at number 80 on the Hot 100 and peaked at number 13, becoming the only single from the album to not reach the top ten.  As of April 2018, "One Last Time" has sold 881,000 digital units in the US, and is certified Platinum by the RIAA.
"Best Mistake" featuring Big Sean was released on August 12, 2014 as a promotional single to those who preorder the album. Shortly after its release, "Best Mistake" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Twitter Real-Time and the iTunes singles chart. It sold 104,000 units in its first week landing at number six on the Digital Songs chart. It also peaked at number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, My Everything received an average of 64, based on 19 reviews, which the cite defines as "generally favorable reviews". Rob Sheffield, writing for Rolling Stone, says, "My Everything proves, she's already a major force" on a release showing how Grande is growing up because "It's a confident, intelligent, brazen pop statement, mixing bubblegum diva vocals with EDM break-beats." Adam Markovitz says for Entertainment Weekly how "Grande has picked a set of songs so lyrically bland, sonically inoffensive, and artistically empty that they produce a zero-impact experience—musical vanilla fro-yo poured directly into your ears." Markovitz states, "It's by no means painful; there are even moments of fun, including the thigh-high-boot swagger of summer smashes 'Problem' and 'Bang Bang,' both of which borrow their strut from coheadliners Iggy Azalea and Jessie J with Nicki Minaj, respectively." Mikael Wood, writing on behalf of the Los Angeles Times, finds Grande in impressive form because she is "deeply cheerful yet with guns blazing, an innocent newcomer no more."
Elysa Gardner, on behalf of USA Today, writes that Grande "digs into ballads and more emotionally earnest fare" simultaneously, doing so with a "girlish playfulness... and a sense of growing confidence", and she is "Blending sugar and spice" together to create a pleasing concoction to satisfy the varying palates of her supporters."Stephen Thomas Erlewine says for AllMusic that "Grande doesn't embody the songs the way an old-fashioned diva would, but she functions as a likeable pop ringleader, stepping aside when the track calls for it and then unleashing a full-throated wail when it's her time to shine." Jason Lipshutz from Billboard writes that the album "turned Grande into a dance artist, pop artist, and soul artist" with a more uniformed and more mature sound.Gary Graff says on behalf of The Oakland Press that it is "a solid step forward for Grande, which makes 'there's more to see' an intriguing promise rather than a threat." In a 7.7 out of ten review for Pitchfork, Meaghan Garvey explains how it "feels like Grande's arrival as a true pop fixture, not just a charming novelty... and while the best songs here may not be timeless, they certainly feel right for right now." The album was placed at number eleven on Digital Spy's Best Albums of 2014 list. Jessica Goodman and Ryan Kistobak of The Huffington Post included the album on their list of 2014's best releases, commenting that the album makes sure "Grande's sheer talent did not go unnoticed".
In a more mixed review, Jim Farber from the New York Daily News writes that Grande's "sexed-up" vocals and range are shown off but the "constant jerking back and forth between styles interrupts any sense of flow." Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian praises Grande's vocals but feels that the songs are indistinct and have a "facelessness" to them. Annie Zaleski writes for The A.V. Club how it "is so well-constructed and designed to succeed, it rarely loosens up enough to let any depth of character (or real surprises) surface", yet it "further establishes Grande as a consummate performer and vocal interpreter."Kitty Empire from The Observer notes that Grande's vocal ability is showcased but that the songs lack personality. Evan Sawdey, writing for PopMatters, commented that Grande mimicks other artists, leaving her distinguished voice with only the support of hollow lyricism. In agreement, Will Robinson rated the album a 2.5 out of five for Sputnikmusic, saying it "ends up ringing hollow". Writing for Vibe magazine, Adelle Platon was positive towards the album's sound and compared Grande's vocals to those of Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. Andrew Chan, writing on behalf of Slant Magazine, stated that Grande "emphasizes the sheer fun of singing over any sense of emotional urgency", yet "What her voice lacks in depth, texture, and variety will probably take time to acquire."
More than three years after the album's release, Grande's graceful, yet precarious, kneeling pose on a stool for the album's cover suddenly became a viral subject on Twitter, spawning a humorous consfdiracy theory, memes, a "challenge" taken up by many to try to recreate the pose, and international press coverage.
On August 27, Billboard reported that My Everything would sell over 160,000 copies in its first week.My Everything officially debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 169,000 copies in its first week. By doing so, Grande attained her second consecutive number-one album in the country, becoming the first female artist to have her first two albums debut at number one since Scottish singer Susan Boyle did it with I Dreamed a Dream (2009) and The Gift (2010). The album has sold 735,000 copies in the United States as of April 2018. In March 2016, the RIAA certified the album double platinum, for combined album sales, on-demand audio, video streams, track sales equivalent of two million album-equivalent units. In Japan, My Everything remained atop the iTunes Store chart for nine weeks, thus earning Grande the longest at number one in 2014, breaking the previous record held by Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
In 2015, My Everything was ranked as the 17th most popular album of the year on the Billboard 200.