Ariana Grande returned to the Manchester stage two weeks after a suicide bombing killed 22 victims at her concert in the city, singing upbeat and motivational pop anthems as the audience cheered loudly for the singer. Grande emerged onstage for the One Love Manchester concert today, held at the city’s Old Trafford cricket ground. She appeared teary-eyed and emotional as she performed “Be Alright” and “Break Free.” Before her performance, she and her dancers held hands in solidarity.
“Manchester, we’re gonna be all right,” she yelled. Confetti burst following the performance. Grande came back onstage to sing Fergie’s verse on the Black Eyed Peas hit, “Where Is the Love?” along with the group.
Today’s concert will raise money for victims of the suicide bombing that struck at Grande’s show on May 22. Grande visited young fans injured in the attack at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Friday. Miley Cyrus said she was “so honored to be at this incredible event” and performed “Happy” alongside Pharrell Williams, who also sang “Get Lucky.”
“I don’t feel or smell or hear or see any fear in this building. All we feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity,” Williams said.
British singer Marcus Mumford kicked off the show and held a moment of silence before performing. The leader of rock band Mumford & Sons then strummed his guitar and sang “Timshel,” which includes the lyrics: “But you are not alone in this, and you are not alone in this, as brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand.”
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Take That, who are from Manchester, followed Mumford with fun energy that the crowd danced to. “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this,” singer Gary Barlow said. “We want everyone to stand strong.”
Robbie Williams also performed, changing some of his lyrics of “Strong” to honor the Manchester victims. “Manchester we’re strong … we’re still singing our song,” he sang with the audience of 60,000. Others set to perform today include Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Usher.
The Manchester concert comes the day after attackers targeted the heart of London, killing seven people. Authorities have said the attack started with a van plowing into pedestrians and then involved three men using large knives to attack people in bars and restaurants at a nearby market.