Ariana Grande brought the cozy holiday energy in her 2014 “Santa Tell Me” music video, but turns out, the clip was originally supposed to go in a very different direction.
In the latest episode of Spotify‘s Billions Club on Tuesday (Feb. 6), the 30-year-old pop star reflected on the stories behind all 14 of her hits that earned a billion streams on the platform — the most of any female artist in history. When she got to the “Santa Tell Me” portion, she revealed the idea for the scrapped original music video.
“It was a backup video. We did that last minute with, like, no budget just to have something to put out,” she said of the final result, which features Grande and her dancers grooving around a mansion in their pajamas. “The original video, I was in weird Christmas lingerie and I was hitting Santa with a cane pole. That was something that I was really insistent on. I was like, ‘That is the right vibe for this song.'”
She continued, “The label was like, ‘Hey, honey, I don’t think we can use this.’ I’m glad I was reeled in that time.”
While the song is nearly a decade old, “Santa Tell Me” reached a new peak of No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2022. During the holiday season in 2023, Grande unveiled the previously leaked “naughty” version of the hit, which featured a change in the bridge to: “Oh, I wanna let him unwrap me like oh-oh-oh/ Get on top of him by that fire place, oh-oh-oh.”