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Ariana Grande leads One Love Manchester benefit concert

By | Published on Monday 5 June 2017

One Love Manchester

Just two weeks after a bomb attack killed 22 people as they left her show at the Manchester Arena on 22 May, Ariana Grande returned to the city last night for a headline-grabbing benefit show to raise money for those affected. Katy Perry, Little Mix, Imogen Heap, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher and Grande herself were among those to perform.

Organised by Grande and her team, and promoted by Live Nation’s Festival Republic in association with SJM Concerts, the show brought together 50,000 concert goers at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground, while millions more around the world tuned in to the live TV and radio broadcasts and online streams.

As previously reported, proceeds from ticket sales and special merchandise created for the event will be donated to the We Love Manchester emergency fund set up by Manchester City Council and the British Red Cross in the wake of last month’s bombing. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster also made available 14,000 free tickets for those who had been at the show where the attack took place.

As well as closing last night’s concert, Grande performed at various points throughout the evening, including duets with the Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus and Coldplay. With the latter she supported Chris Martin’s rendition of Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, which has become associated with Manchester’s resilient response to the attack.

Grande’s manager Scooter Braun also appeared on stage to give a speech, thanking the police and others who had responded in the immediate aftermath of the attack, as well as the performers who had agreed to play for free at such short notice, and Live Nation for underwriting the show.

Referencing the incident the previous evening in London, in which three men attacked members of the public with a van and knives on and near London Bridge, he went on: “Last night, this nation was challenged, and you were all challenged. You had a decision to make whether to come out here tonight. And this is so beautiful. You guys made that decision. You looked fear right in the face and said, ‘No. This is Manchester and the world is watching'”.

“Evil will test us”, he concluded. “It will show its face again. But because of you, we can now represent through this as a worldwide community that we will be ready, we will be fearless, we will be great and we will honour our children. The children of Manchester and all those children around the world. Because of our children, and those children who had their tomorrows ripped away from them, we owe it to them to be brave. They demand our bravery. And I want to thank you once again to come out and say that hatred will never win, fear will never divide us, because on this day we all stood with Manchester”.

In her own speech, Grande thanked the audience for attending, saying: “I want to thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified. I love you guys so much and I think that the kind of love and unity we’re displaying is the medicine that the world really needs right now. So I want to thank you for being just that”.

She also discussed how the benefit show had developed after she met the mother of one of those who died in the Manchester Arena attack, fifteen year old Olivia Campbell: “I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia’s mommy a few days ago. And as soon as I met her I started crying and I gave her a big hug and she said that I should stop crying because Olivia wouldn’t have wanted me to cry. And then she told me that Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits. So that means that we had a totally different show planned and we had a rehearsal yesterday where we changed everything and this evening has been so light and so filled with fun and love and bright energy and I want to thank you for that”.

You can watch the show in full here: