Ariana Grande has been made the first ever honorary citizen of Manchester following the work that she did in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at her concert in May. Councillors voted “unanimously” this morning at an apparently emotional meeting to discuss whether or not Grande would be awarded the distinction. After the horrific attack, which Grande was understandably shaken up by, she managed to help put together a benefit concert in aid of the victims of the bomb.
At the meeting, which some of the victims’ family members attended, the council leader described Grande as “a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again” adding, “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. 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.”
The Dangerous Woman singer wrote a heartfelt letter in the days after the incident which killed 22 and injured 59. “There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better,” she wrote. “However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.” She added, “We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”
Following the attack, Grande also visited injured victims in hospital. Honorary citizenship is the highest honour a city can give aside from “freedom of the city”, and for her brave work comforting survivors after the attack, Ariana deserves it.
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