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Easter egg hunt: Reading between the lyrics of Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves and Justin Timberlake

Kacey Musgraves, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake
Kacey Musgraves, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake give fans a veritable hunting ground for Easter eggs on their new albums.

It’s an egg-cellent time to be a pop fan.

And while Taylor Swift may be music’s boss bunny when it comes to burrowing those Easter eggs for us to dig out and dissect — a tunneling trend that will no doubt continue when she drops “The Tortured Poets Department” on April 19 — she isn’t the only superstar singer playing hide and seek with their fans.

Indeed, heavy hitters such as Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves and Justin Timberlake have turned their new albums — “Eternal Sunshine,” “Deeper Well” and “Everything I Thought It Was,” respectively — into a veritable hunting ground for the pastel-colored dish as we head into Easter weekend.

ARIANA  GRANDE

Ariana Grande recently finalized her divorce from real estate agent Dalton Gomez and will give him a one-time payment of $1.25 million. arianagrande/Instagram
Ariana Grande recently finalized her divorce from real estate agent Dalton Gomez and will give him a one-time payment of $1.25 million. arianagrande/Instagram

On “Eternal Sunshine” — her seventh studio album, which had the highest debut of 2024 and remained at No. 1 in its second week on the Billboard 200 — the perpetually ponytailed diva is on the divorce come-up after her split from real estate agent Dalton Gomez, who she married in 2021.

And there are also lyrical clues about her “Thank U, Next” relationship with her “Wicked” co-star Ethan Slater. In fact, some fans think that “Eternal Sunshine” is initial code for her current beau.

“Intro (End of the World)”

The opening track of “Eternal Sunshine” seemingly alludes to Grande questioning her own relationship radar, possibly with both Gomez and Slater: ’How can I tell if I’m in the right relationship?/ Aren’t you really s’posed to know that s – – t?/ Feel it in your bones and own that s – – t?”

“Eternal Sunshine”

The shimmering title tune appears to address both being played by Gomez — seemingly with some infidelity — and then finding a “good boy” in Slater: “I showed you all my demons, all my lies/ Yet you played me like Atari/ Now it’s like I’m lookin’ in the mirror/ Hope you feel all right when you’re in her/ I found a good boy and he’s on my side/ You’re just my eternal sunshine.”

KACEY MUSGRAVES

Kacey Musgrave’s new LP “Deeper Well” returns her to twangier territory after 2021’s more pop-oriented “Star-Crossed.”
Kacey Musgrave’s new LP “Deeper Well” returns her to twangier territory after 2021’s more pop-oriented “Star-Crossed.”

On the country-pop darling’s last studio album, 2021’s “Star-Crossed,” she was healing from the heartbreak of her divorce from singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly. And after her split from poet Cole Schafer last year, Musgraves mines more breakup drama in the twangier tunes on “Deeper Well,” which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week.

“Deeper Well”

Either of Musgraves’ exes — or both — could be the subject of the deceptively sunny title tune: “There’s two kinds of people/ One is a giver and one’s always trying to take all they can take/ So I’m sayin’ goodbye/ To the people that I feel are real good at wastin’ my time / No regrets, baby/ I just think that maybe you go your way and I’ll go mine/ It’s been a real good time/ But you got dark energy, something I can’t unsee/ And I’ve got to take care of myself.”

Country-pop darling Kacey Musgraves heals from her breakup with poet Cole Schafer on her new album “Deeper Well.” Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Country-pop darling Kacey Musgraves heals from her breakup with poet Cole Schafer on her new album “Deeper Well.” Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

“Too Good to Be True”

The second single from the album appears to allude to Musgraves potentially setting herself up for more heartache with Schafer — the one who might be “too good to be true” — after her divorce from Kelly: “Please don’t make me regret/ Openin’ up that part of myself/ That I’ve been scared to give again/ Be good to me and I’ll be good to you/ But please don’t be too good to be true.”

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

On “Everything I Thought It Was,” his first solo album since 2018, Timberlake is a happily married man — to actress Jessica Biel — who seems to still be digging into his messy breakup with Britney Spears in the early ’00s on “Drown,” while also basking in the “Paradise” he’s found with his wife of 11 years on the album’s *NSYNC joint.

After first addressing his breakup with Britney Spears in 2002’s “Cry Me a River,” Justin Timberlake seemingly revisits the split on his new song “Drown.” WireImage
After first addressing his breakup with Britney Spears in 2002’s “Cry Me a River,” Justin Timberlake seemingly revisits the split on his new song “Drown.” WireImage

“Drown”

“You left me alone out in the dark with all of your demons/ Got caught up in the tide of all the tears you cried/ Yeah, you know I was blinded by my heart, sinking from the start/ Should’ve never followed you this far, now I’m in the deep end/ And you let me drown.”

“Paradise”

“’Cause I’ve waited/ I’ve been waitin’ forever/ Right here for this moment/ Between you and I/ Everything that’s happening/ And it’s just what I imagined/ I imagined it would feel like/ Paradise.”