US pop star Ariana Grande has said she’s both “moved and honoured” by the city of Manchester’s decision to make her an honorary citizen in light of her response to a terror attack that killed 22 people at her concert at Manchester arena earlier this year.
Grande, whose gig in May was targeted by an extremist, honoured the victims of the attack and those who survived it by hosting a star-studded benefit gig less than a fortnight later.
The One Love Manchester concert, which broke viewing records for 2017, was organised by Grande and her manager, Scooter Braun. The pair were universally praised for their efforts and Manchester City Council unanimously decided to award Grande honorary citizenship as a result.
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese praised the 24-year-old singer for her bravery, arguing that it would have been entirely understandable had she opted to never come back.
“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 said. “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 was overwhelmed by the gesture.
“I don’t know what to say. Words don’t suffice,” the singer wrote in a post on her official Instagram account. “I’m moved and honored. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you.”