Ariana Grande and Friends Give Comfort at One Love Manchester Show

Ariana Grande and Friends Give Comfort at One Love Manchester Show

Watch highlights from the triumphant show now.

Watch highlights from the triumphant show now.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Yesterday, Ariana Grande returned to the stage for the first time since a heinous terrorist attack killed 22 people and injured over 50 others after her show at Manchester Arena on May 22. The singer diligently organized a benefit concert, One Love Manchester, at Emirates Old Trafford in the city to raise money for the victims, where over 50,000 people and millions watching around the world joined together to sing, celebrate, and honor those lost in the attack.

She was joined by a plethora of fellow music superstars, including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and surprise guest Liam Gallagher, among others. But all eyes were on Grande herself, who graced the stage to the opening xylophone sounds of “Be Alright,” changing the choreography to join hands with her dancers and later voguing in sheer joy and defiance. The singer trudged through emotion the whole night, managing a balance of upbeat hits and delicate ballads while lifting the spirits of those in the crowd.

"I want to thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified,” Grande said to the crowd. “I love you guys so much, and I think that all the love and unity you're displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.” At one point, she also shared an anecdote of when she met the mother of Olivia Campbell, one of the 22 victims. “As soon as I met her, I started crying, and gave her a big hug. And she said that I should stop crying because Olivia wouldn’t have wanted me to cry. She told me that Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits,” she said, laughingly, before going into her smash hit “Side to Side.”

Other highlights of the night included Chris Martin singing a cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” to Grande, Perry delivering the vocal performance of her career with “Roar,” and Grande’s heartfelt duet with Cyrus on Crowded House’s uplifting “Don’t Dream It’s Over”—and their charming logistical mishap beforehand (“I’m on this side”).

But the most memorable moments of the night were also the most emotionally charged. The Parrs Wood High School choir performed a heart-wrenching rendition of “My Everything,” with Grande joining in and hugging the 12-year-old lead singer who couldn’t stop crying, making everyone else sob in the process. The heartwarming clips of security guards dancing with attendees on the floor didn’t stop the flow of tears.

The show ended on an uplifting note, with the performers joining Grande onstage for her hit “One Last Time,” which has been used to commemorate the victims since the tragic events (all proceeds from sales of the track on iTunes will be donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund). But nothing was more poignant than when Grande came back out solo and ended the night with a beautiful cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” battling tears throughout. With that, Grande brought hope and optimism in the midst of gloom and turmoil, to a night where unity and strength reigned supreme. Watch more clips from the night below.

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