The “One Love Manchester” benefit concert almost never happened.
After a suicide bomber killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last May, the singer gamely got back on stage two weeks later to raise money for the victims of the attack. But her manager, Scooter Braun, revealed that her first instinct was to go into hiding.
“I said, ‘We need to get a concert and get back out there,’ ” Braun told Time. “She looked at me like I was insane. She said, ‘I can never sing these songs again. I can’t put on these outfits. Don’t put me in this position.’ ”
As a result, the rest of Grande’s tour was canceled.
However, Braun, 36, said that two days later, he received 16 text messages from the singer urging him to call her. Once they finally got in touch, she told him, “If I don’t do something, these people died in vain.”
The “One Love Manchester” benefit was a massive success, and also featured performances by 24, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Liam Gallagher and Coldplay. Most importantly, it raised more than $13 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. But the singer knows that only time will allow people to heal.
“There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain,” she explained to the magazine. “The processing part is going to take forever.”
Grande, who still finds the memory of the attack “very painful,” said she doesn’t want to spend too much time or energy talking about it.
“I don’t want to give it that much power,” she said. “Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won.”
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