Walik Goshorn // Retna Ltd
Ariana Grande has officially been named the first honorary citizen of Manchester, England for her humanitarian efforts following a deadly terrorist attack in the city.
On May 22, 2017, a terrorist bombing at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert killed 23 adults and children while injuring another 250 people. Grande tweeted after the attack, stating, "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have the words."
Less than a month after the attack, Grande organized an all-star benefit concert to raise money for people affected. One Love Manchester featured performances by Grande, Pharrell Williams, Justin Bieber, Mac Miller, Stevie Wonder, and more. The concert raised $3 million. Grande also visited some of the children who were injured from the attack while they were in the hospital.
Council leader Sir Richard Leese described Grande as "a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again," The Guardian reports.
"But no - instead she, as an artist, a performer, was determined that she would not perform again until she had returned to Manchester to perform," he continued. "In doing so, she brought comfort to thousands, she raised millions for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and became the first patron of that fund. And that's why I propose that Ariana Grande is made the first honorary citizen of the city of Manchester."
Grande shared her reaction on her Instagram page.
"I don't know what to say. Words don't suffice," she wrote. "I'm moved and honored. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you."