Ariana Grande returned to the stage just about two weeks after a bombing outside her May 22 concert in Manchester left 22 dead. At a benefit concert she put together titled One Love Manchester, the singer performed “Be Alright” and “Break Free” while donning a sweatshirt reading “One Love Manchester.”
Her lively, triumphant performance followed short sets by other musicians including Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, and Niall Horan.
“We love you so much,” she said as pink streamers rained from the sky at the conclusion of “Break Free.” She and her dancers then scurried offstage as the special cut to a short video of Stevie Wonder performing.
Before Grande came onstage, her manager Scooter Braun shared a story about going to the Manchester hospital to visit victims of the attack. “I promised one of those kids I would deliver a message,” he said. “His name is Adam. He’s 15-years-old. He lost his best friend Olivia that night. After surgery, we met him.”
Braun said that’s when Adam asked him to tell the concert’s audience something. “Don’t go forward in anger — love spreads,” he said. “Adam, if you’re watching,” Braun continued, “you’re our hero tonight.”
Braun went on to recall a recent conversation he had with Grande after the attack. “She said, ‘Scooter, if we do nothing, I can’t live with that. We must do something.'” They then decided to organize the concert; proceeds will benefit victims of the attack. “So to one of the bravest people I know,” Braun finished his introduction, “Ladies and gentleman, Ariana Grande.”
Grande later joined Victoria Monét onstage for a stripped-down duet of Monét’s “Better Days” and stuck around to help out the Black Eyed Peas with “Where Is the Love?” The group led the audience in a euphoric sing-along toward the end, encouraging the crowd to put one finger in the air to represent one love.
Read our recap of the full event here.