Ariana Grande shared a heartfelt letter on Twitter following the shocking terrorist attack at her Manchester concert Monday night — and announced she will be returning to England to stage a benefit concert to honor and raise money for the victims and their families.
“My heart, prayers and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved ones,” Grande, 23, began.
She continued, “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.”
Immediately following Grande’s concert, 22 people were killed and 119 were injured after a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device. Local authorities have since identified Salman Abedi, 22, as a suspect, and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“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,” the “Dangerous Woman” singer continued. “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.”
She wrote, “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.”
Grande then announced that she’d be returning to Manchester to honor and raise money for the victims of the attack and their families, sharing a link to the Manchester Evening News’ Just Giving partnership with the Red Cross.
“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 some 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 part of our expression of love for Manchester. I will have details to share with you as soon as a everything is confirmed.”
She added, “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 place 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,” Grande continued. “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.”
She wrapped up her letter, “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,” signing, “Ari.”
Grande’s manager Scooter Braun also expressed pride in the young singer, sharing his commitment to standing with the city after the explosion.
“We cannot be scared by evil. So proud of @ArianaGrande and all the others committed to honoring those lost. We are with you Manchester,” he wrote.