Ariana Grande Honors Manchester Victims with Hidden Silent Tribute on Sweetener
The star padded the final track of Sweetener with 40 seconds of silence in honor of the fans who lost their lives at her 2017 Manchester concert
The star also included 40 seconds of silence at the end of the song, bringing the song to a total time of 5 minutes and 22 seconds — in honor of her fans who were killed or injured outside the concert venue on May 22 last year.
“This is for everybody / Babe, you gotta take care of you body, yuh yuh / Ain’t no time to deny it, that is why we talking about it / So deal with it, don’t try to get by it,” she sings on the track.
Grande got emotional when talking about the song during a sit-down interview with Ebro Darden live on Beats 1 on Apple Music.
“It’s just about being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety,” she told Darden. “There’s some dark s— out there, man, and we just have to be there for each other as much as we can. It’s just f—ed. I wanted to do a song [like “Get Well Soon”] to make people feel good. It’s not just about that, it’s also about personal demons and anxiety and more intimate tragedies as well.”
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Earlier this year, the “No Tears Left to Cry” singer opened up about her battle with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder following the bombing, which also injured more than 500 people.
“It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss,” Grande told Vogue U.K. for their July issue. “But, yeah, it’s a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience — like I shouldn’t even say anything.”
She previously revealed the attack was particularly horrifying because the concert was supposed to be a place of happiness.
“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world,” she told Time. “I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day. I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”
On the anniversary of the attack, Grande — who returned to the U.K. shortly after to raise funds for the victims at the One Love Manchester benefit concert — reflected on the victims with a touching message on Twitter.
“Thinking of you all today and every day,” she wrote in May, adding a bee emoji that is a symbol of Manchester. “I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day.”