Ariana Grande Raises $13 million for Victims of Manchester Attack
In honor of the terrorist attack a fortnight ago in Manchester, England, and in spite of the terrorist attack on the London Bridge this past Saturday, American singer Ariana Grande held a charity concert on Sunday to benefit the victims of the Manchester attack, which occurred as audience members were leaving her concert there late last month.
Onstage the pop singer spoke words of inspiration, solidarity, and gratefulness to a sold-out venue of nearly 50,000 fans during this weekend’s One Love Manchester concert.
Numerous celebrity performers joined Grande onstage. Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Bono, Katy Perry, Pharrell and Chris Martin were just a few of the performers who stepped up to perform at the charity event.
Each artist sang one of their own hits, as well as some of the ensemble numbers Grande had chosen for the set-list.
Ariana Grande, a 23 year-old Boca Raton, Florida native, admitted at the concert that she had originally chosen subdued numbers to mourn the victims, but changed her mind after the mother of one of the victims asked her to play “the hits” as that would be what her daughter and other fallen fans would have preferred to hear.
All of the celebrities performing during the concert spoke words of love and applauded Manchester’s resilience in the face of terrorism. Even performers who weren’t able to be in attendance, like Sir Paul McCartney, sent a video message before the event began, to help show their support and to promote the live streamed concert.
“Tonight Manchester is in the heart of the world. All my love, from me and the boys,” said former Beatle McCartney.
Together, Grande and her guests raised over $13 million for victims of the Manchester attack.
The artists seemed to provide more than just money in Manchester though. They brought joy and unity to the brave attendees who arrived in spite of the terrorist attack in London the previous evening.
All those in attendance were there to honor those who had lost their lives, and to stand against terrorism. The repeated mantras of the concert were resilience and solidarity.
“I want to thank you so much for coming together and being strong,” said Grande, “I love you guys so much, and I think the kind of love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.”
Those in attendance were dressed flamboyantly, not in colors of mourning or fear. Many sported the popular bunny ears that Grande has been seen wearing in recent photographs, or merchandise from her concert tour ‘Dangerous Woman.’ Together the audience and performers sang and danced, laughed and cried, and focused on the power that love holds over hate in a community.
Aware that there would be fears of a reoccurring terror attack, the Manchester police department provided extra protection and service dogs. They also conducted bag searches at the entrance.
Roads surrounding the venue were shut down, so streams of celebrating fans poured into the streets before the joyous occasion. The entire concert was organized in the mere 13 days following the attack which interrupted Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’ tour.
As her tour was temporarily suspended, Ariana Grande visited local hospitals in Manchester, England to spend time with victims of the attacks. She also donated 14,000 of the 50,000 tickets to those who were in attendance at her concert when the first terror attack occurred.
Scooter Braun, the singer’s manager, revealed that Grande was not only the star of the concert but was truly the motivator to put the charitable evening together.
“She called me to say, ‘If we do nothing, I can’t live with that. We must do something,'” Braun confided.
Undaunted and courageous in the face of trauma, Grande provided an evening of live entertainment that proved to be cathartic for both the performers and audience.
Growing emotional multiple times throughout the concert, she seemed particularly effected by the closing number. Grande’s eyes welled up with tears as she sang the last song of the evening, a moving version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” to deafening applause.
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