"I'm not claiming to be the hero of the lgbtq rights movement — i just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special," Ariana Grande wrote

By Jeff Nelson
February 27, 2019 03:45 PM
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Ariana Grande has responded to criticism over her upcoming Manchester Pride Festival performance.

After some Twitter users accused the pop superstar of exploiting the LGBTQ community, Grande set the record straight on social media.

On Monday, the singer confirmed she would be headlining the U.K. city’s pride festivities, and she received backlash from a few detractors.

“idk …. ariana headlining pride when she’s straight (as far as we’re all aware) …. and doubling the price of tickets …. kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me …..” one Twitter user wrote.

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Two days later, Grande — a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community — addressed the negativity online.

“i have nothing to do with ticket pricing — manchester pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control,” Grande started her note on Twitter.

“the lgbtq community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my career. the relationships i have with lgbtq fans, friends, and family make me so happy. i want to celebrate and support this community regardless of my identity or how people label me. and also i wanna visit a city that means so much to me. lgbtq representation is incredibly important, and i’m always proud to share that stage with lgbtq artists!” Grande added.

Her note continued: “over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like cher and kylie minogue. i do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an lgbtq audience with exploitation of the lgbtq community. if you truly feel like i didn’t deserve to be offered this spot, i respect that. but i did accept it excitedly and gratefully.

Grande concluded: “i’m not claiming to be the hero of the lgbtq rights movement — i just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special and celebrated and supported. that’s all i wanna do.”

The “7 rings” singer announced her slot as the headliner for the 2019 Manchester Pride Festival on Monday.

“Manchester babes, I’m so thrilled to be headlining pride,” she wrote on Twitter of the event, which will be held between Aug. 23 and Aug. 26 in the English city. “My heart. I cant wait to see you and I love you so, so much.”

Grande has formed a bond with many in the U.K. town after a bomber killed 22 people and injured more than 500 at her Manchester show of her Dangerous Woman Tour on May 22, 2017. Following the terror attack, Grande postponed dates of the tour to pay respect to the victims. Then, 12 days later, she returned to the U.K. to perform in the star-studded One Love Manchester benefit concert.

The Manchester Pride Festival announcement comes after a particularly successful few weeks for Grande. Her fifth album, thank u, next, topped the Billboard 200 chart for the second week in a row. And last week, three of Grande’s new singles topped the Hot 100 chart: “7 rings”at No. 1, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” at No. 2 and the title track at No. 3; the last time an artist simultaneously occupied the top three chart positions was when The Beatles did it in 1964.

The Grammy winner’s Sweetener World Tour kicks off March 18 in Albany, New York.