Grande promises to return for charity concert
NEW YORK: Pop star Ariana Grande promised to return to Manchester to play a charity concert following a suicide attack at her show, as she urged fans to respond to the tragedy with love.
In her first substantive comments since Monday’s tragedy, the singer on Friday said she felt “uplifted” by seeing fans’ compassion after the blast which killed 22 people and was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
The 23-year-old, who suspended her tour and returned to her Florida home to rest, said she planned a concert as “an expression of love for Manchester”.
She said that the concert would raise money for the victims of the attack and their families.
“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live kindly and generously than we did before,” she said in an essay posted on her social media accounts.
“We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win,” she said.
Grande, whose fan base is dominated by girls and young women, said she had seen a “beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd”.
She said she viewed her concerts as places for her fans “to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves.”
Grande wrote that her concert, by bringing people from varied backgrounds into the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, showed the power of music to unite.