ARIANA’S TEARS FOR MANCHESTER
The pop star grieves for her fans
Unable to hold back her tears after a suicide bomber killed and injured dozens of her adoring fans in Manchester last week, Ariana Grande flew home to Florida and into the loving arms of her rapper boyfriend Mac Miller.
But the nightmare has only just begun for the 23-year-old pop star. Since the shocking attack, which instantly killed 22 concert-goers and injured 64 more, the former child actress has shut herself away in her parents’ gated community mansion in Boca Raton, too devastated to eat or sleep.
“Ariana is going to need a lot of help,” a source close to the “Problem” singer tells Woman’s Day. “Right now, she doesn’t want to see anyone. She’s lost for words. Mac is doing everything he can to help.”
Mourning for her fans, Ariana cancelled her upcoming Dangerous Woman tour concert dates in Europe. A decision
has yet to be made on her scheduled September 2 gig in Auckland. “Ariana’s not in any state to get back on stage,” says our source. “Her mum is already thinking that she is going to need years of therapy to get over this.”
Until last Monday, the Grammy-nominated singer was a rising pop princess – famous for her trademark high ponytail, risqué stage costumes and message of female empowerment – with a following mostly of young girls and teenagers. Now her fame is at an all-time high, but for all the wrong reasons.
During her ill-fated May 22 concert in Manchester, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were filled with posts from excited youngsters enjoying the sold-out gig. For many, it was their first-ever concert.
Around 10.30pm, as Ariana was singing her final encore, British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who is believed to have been radicalised in Syria, walked unchallenged into the grounds of the Manchester Arena with a nail bomb in a suitcase.
Unaccompanied teens and families with young children had started to stream out of the venue when an almighty bang was heard. It took a few moments for people to register that there had been a massive explosion near the ticket office.
As passers-by, including two homeless men, rushed to help the injured, Ariana’s mother Joan, 48, who was enjoying the concert from the front row, ushered a large group of young fans to safety backstage and comforted them until they were told it was safe to leave.
“Ariana was immensely proud of her mum and wanted to stay in Manchester long enough to place flowers at the scene,” says our source. “But the police urged her to leave immediately.”
While there is no suggestion that Ariana is still in danger, it’s been claimed she was targeted by extremists ISIS. Author James Harkin explains, “Her revealing stage outfits, her stockings, pink bunny ears and unabashed sexual confidence … is a symbol of everything [they] hate.”
Western music is forbidden by ISIS and anyone caught with it in the group’s controlled territory is “rewarded by between 30 and 40 lashes with a whip or stick”, he says. “Women are forced to cover up and wear the face veil when outside, and never to leave home without a chaperone. The sight of Ariana Grande and her risqué stage outfits would be anathema to the fanatics.”
Feisty Ariana has always been proud to stand up for what she believes in, abandoning Roman Catholicism in favour of Kabbalah several years ago, when she realised the religion would not accept her openly gay brother Frankie.
Following the horrific attack in England, Ariana’s family and Mac, 25, who she has been dating for nine months, hope her belief in the natural goodness of others will prevail. Our source says, “At the moment, Ariana can’t bring herself to look at the news or even browse the internet. She did see photos of some of the victims and she broke down once again.
“Once she’s over the shock, she’s thinking about bringing out a special single with all the proceeds going to the people affected. She just wants to do what’s right to help them.
"She’ll definitely return to Manchester to meet the survivors and the families of the victims. But it will be a while yet as she is too distraught. This has left her scarred for life.”
Police and emergency services rush to help victims after the horrific explosion at Mancheste r Arena.