Singer Ariana Grande has opened up about the Manchester Arena bombing in a letter shared in her new docu-series Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries.
The tragedy occurred following her set at the Manchester Arena in May 2017; when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device, killing 22 people – seven of whom were under the age of 18.
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The pop star, now aged 25, wrote the letter to her fans during the fourth episode of the show.
It reads: “I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018. It’s been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It’s impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part. May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life.
“The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity.”
“Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known. Music – pop music, stan culture – is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe.”
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The singer continues: “When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that… it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from. The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated.
“I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”
“To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment. The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity.”
The letter concludes: “Like a handprint on my heart, I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”
Ariana was unharmed in the attack but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the months following the incident.
The docu-series takes a look behind the scenes of her Dangerous Woman tour, but it does not show any footage from the attack. It does show a glimpse of the One Love Manchester benefit concert which the singer organised to raise funds for the families affected.
Earlier this month, it was discovered that intelligence agencies in the UK had missed numerous chances to stop terrorist Salman Abedi from carrying out the atrocity.