Pop star Ariana Grande took the stage in Manchester Sunday night, less than 24 hours after a deadly terror attack in London, and less than two weeks after an explosion ripped through the concert venue where she performed, killing 22 fans and injuring more than 100.
Donning ripped jeans and a white “One Love Manchester” sweater, the singer started upbeat as much of the young crowd appeared both excited and overwhelmed, declaring her love for the still mourning city.
Grande was later joined by the Black Eyed Peas, performing their 2003 hit “Where Is the Love?” which directly addressed the buregoning threat of terrorism in its lyrics, and advocated a message of “one love.” Some fourteen years later, frontman will.i.am urged the packed crowd to raise a hand in solidarity.
But it isn’t just Grande paying her respects to the city. The “One Love Manchester” benefit — with additional security measures following the latest attacks — was set to feature performances from Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Pharrell Williams, Niall Horan and Robbie Williams.
The show also featured heartflet messages from Stevie Wonder and former soccer star David Beckham, British girlband Little Mix and a duet with Victoria Monet and Grande performing “Better Days.”
Survivors also are slated to take the stage alongside Grande during the show at the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground.
Following Saturday night’s terrorist assault on London Bridge, Grande tweeted that she was “praying for London.” Earlier on Sunday, her manager Scooter Braun released a statement declaring that, “after the events last night in London, and those in Manchester just two weeks ago, we feel a sense of responsibility to honor those lost, injured, and affected.”
“We plan to honor them with courage, bravery, and defiance in the face of fear. Today’s One Love Manchester benefit concert will not only continue, but will do so with greater purpose,” he continued. “We must not be afraid and in tribute to all those affected here and around the world, we will bring our voices together and sing loudly.”
Braun went on to say that they had the “full support” of the Greater Manchester Police and the government and are assured the safety of all those attending is the highest priority.
“All artists involved have been unwavering in their support this morning and are determined to carry on with the show. We ask the strong city of Manchester and the world to join us in making the statement that hatred and fear will never win,” he added. “Today we stand together. Thank you.”
More than 50 countries worldwide have signed up to air the show live, with BBC Worldwide affirming Sunday that those plans remained. All net ticket proceeds from the concert will benefit the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund,” created by the Manchester City Council and the British Red Cross.