Ariana Grande on Friday announced her intention to return to the “incredibly brave city of Manchester” to spend time with fans and play a benefit concert to assist victims of the suicide bomb attack launched after her show in the British city earlier this week.
“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 23-year-old singer said in a statement on social media.
“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.”
Grande gave no details about when she would return other than to say they would be coming as soon as things were confirmed.
The statement was her first since a brief tweet after the bombing saying she was “broken” and “so so sorry.” That day, Grande and her mother left Britain for Florida.
She acknowledged her own reaction to the incident in saying she was “sorry for the pain and fear you must be feeling and the trauma that you, too, must be feeling.” She also talked about not wanting to “go the rest of the year” without being out there for her fans; at this point, her tour has been suspended only until June 5.
“There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better,” she said to the victims of the attack and their loved ones. “However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I can possibly give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”
Those who were most tragically affected, Grande said, “will be on my mind and in my heart everyday and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”
Harry Styles shows support
One Direction singer Harry Styles, who is reportedly about to embark on his first international solo tour, brightened the day of one of the victim’s of the Manchester bombing, according to E! News.
The gossip news site said the pop singer called Freya Lewis, 14, who was seriously injured in the attack and has been in intensive care ever since.
The teen received extensive injuries, including lacerations and burns, from being hit by shrapnel from the bomb. Her best friend, Nell Jones, was reportedly killed at the scene, according to E! News.
Styles reportedly called the girl after she was recovering from surgery and told her he loved her.
E! News cites a blog that first reported the call, which later posted: “The PICU unit at Manchester Children’s Hospital has just been given a lift like you can not imagine! Harry, we salute you sir, Holmes Chapel is very proud of you!!!!”
Actress Lorelei Linklater (”Boyhood”) is 24. … Actor Billy Flynn (”Days of Our Lives”) is 32. … Singer Melanie Brown (”Scary Spice”) of the Spice Girls is 42. … Actress Annette Bening is 59. … Composer Danny Elfman is 64. … Actor Kevin Conway (”Gods and Generals”) is 75. — Wire, staff report