The Words You’ve Been Waiting for Ariana to Say After Manchester Attack
There are no right words to say right now. A terrorist set off a bomb at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert, killing himself, along with 22 other people, and injuring dozens; many of those victims were the “One Last Time” singer’s young fans.
Despite there being no right words, many celebrities offered their condolences & support, including Ari’s co-stars from Nickelodeon’s Victorious and, of course, the 23-year-old crooner herself:
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
In the days that followed, there was radio silence from the petite star. According to the people closest to her, she couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep — she’s home with her family and boyfriend, but she’s, essentially, heartbroken.
But some members of the public did not like her response; many even criticized her for failing to respond “properly” — as if there’s a rulebook.
“Too bad @ArianaGrande is a spoiled brat,” Twitter user @laurenacooley posted on May 24, less than 48 hours after the explosion. “Would love to see her visiting fans at hospital; could be the 1st pop icon to truly condemn terror.”
Others condemned her for boasting about how she hates America (in 2015), yet she ran back there as soon as things got tough overseas.
We could go on and on with the critiques, but why bother? You get the idea.
Well, to those people who feel that Ariana did not react well, no one will be able to say she’s in the wrong now. AG penned a letter and released it across her social media pages, announcing that she plans to return to Manchester to hold a benefit concert to raise money for the victims and their families. (Rumor has it that she also plans to cover funeral costs herself.) She did not make the tragedy about herself; she offered her condolences again; she praised others for how they’re handling the event…
You know what, read Ariana’s words for yourself, in full here:
My heart, prayers and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester attack and their loved ones.
There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better.
However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.
The only thing we can do now is choose how we let this affect us and how we live our lives from here on out.
I have been thinking of my fans, and of you all, non-stop over the past week. The way you have handled all of this has been more inspiring and made me more proud than you’ll ever know. The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you’ve shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday.
YOU are the opposite.
I am sorry for the pain and fear that you must be feeling and for the trauma that you, too, must be experiencing.
We will never be able to understand why events like this take place because it is not in our nature, which is why we shouldn’t recoil.
We will not quit or operate in fear.
We won’t let this divide us.
We won’t let hate win.
I don’t want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans, the same way they continue to uplift me.
Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.
I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families. I want to thank my fellow musicians and friends for reaching out to be a part of our expression of love for Manchester. I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed.
From the day we started putting the Dangerous Woman Tour together, I said that this show, more than anything else, was intended to be a safe space for my fans. A place for them to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves. To meet their friends they’ve made online. To express themselves.
This will not change that.
When you look into the audience at my shows, you see a beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd. Thousands of people, incredibly different, all there for the same reason, music.
Music is something that everyone on Earth can share.
Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy.
So that is what it will continue to do for us.
We will continue in honor of the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy.
They will be on my mind and in my heart every day and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.
Like we said, there are no right words… but these words are exactly what the public has been waiting for; the words the public needed to hear from Ariana.
Sadly, fans have been injured at other concerts in the past, too: