Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert on May 22 had a tragic ending. A suicide bombing left 22 dead – including seven children – and over 100 injured. The terrorist attack left Grande devastated. To honor the victims, the singer played One Love Manchester, a star-studded concert on Sunday, June 4 at the Emirates Old Trafford.
When the concert was announced, it took about 6 minutes to sell out the 50,000 capacity venue. For the fans who were at the Manchester show last month, tickets were free. $2.6 million were raised for the ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’. Alongside other initiatives, more than $13 million have been raised, to “help alleviate immediate suffering and ensure victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties,” the British Red Cross explained.
The benefit gig, televised on BBC One, gathered a stellar line-up of names alongside Grande: Take That, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Niall Horan, Marcus Mumford, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams, Little Mix, Mac Miller, Imogen Heap, Victoria Monet, and a surprise appearance of Liam Gallagher.
Mumford was the first star to take the stage, doing a solo performance of Mumford and Sons’ “Timshel.” He was followed by Mancunians Take That, that performed a set of hits like “Shine” and “Rule the World.”
Robbie Williams followed, dedicating a version of “Strong” to Manchester. “All our hearts are with you,” he said after performing “Angel.”
Pharrell was next to take the stage, who began his set with “Get Lucky.” He also dedicated some words to Manchester, saying that fear was nowhere around, “All we feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity.” He then proceeded to sing his hit “Happy,” inviting Miley Cyrus to join him onstage.
One Direction‘s Niall Horan was next, performing his solo track “Slow Hands,” followed by his debut solo single “This Town,” which he performed in tribute to Manchester. After Horan, it was time to welcome the woman of the hour: Ariana Grande, who opened her set with “Be Alright.”
Grande joined some artists to collaborate onstage
Apart from performing hits like “Break Free,” “Side to Side,” “Love Me Harder,” “One Last Time” and more, the 23-year-old pop star planned some duets and collaborations for the show. She did an emotional cover of “Don’t Dream It’s Over” from Crowded House, with her friend Miley Cyrus.Who previously performed a touching rendition of her new song “Inspired,” and said to the audience, “I’d like to wrap my arms around each and every one of you and tell you thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The star also duetted with her boyfriend Mac Miller to perform the 2013 hit “The Way,” followed by Miller’s single “Dang!” from his 2016 album ‘The Divine Feminine,’ with Grande helping out with Anderson’s part.
When Victoria Monet took the stage, the talented uprising singer performed her intense song “Better Days,” featuring Grande. Monet has written several times for and with Grande, including most of the songs from the album ‘Dangerous Woman.’
The Black Eyed Peas also joined Grande onstage to perform their massive hit “Where Is The Love,” which Will.i.am manages to adapt to every tragedy that occurs, and it fit perfectly all the time.
Grande also invited the Parrs Wood High School Choir for a very touching rendition of “My Everything.” Lead by 12-year-old soloist Natasha Seth, Grande joined the choir in the middle of the song. At one point, Seth couldn’t hold back her emotions and let some tears out, and Grande reacted in the purest way, giving her the warmest hug.
Coldplay brought Mancunians together for a massive rendition of “Don’t Look Back In Anger”
Days after the attack, a memorial event to honor victims took place at St. Ann’s Square. The event ended up with a crowd of about 400 people spontaneously chanting Oasis’ classic “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” When Coldplay took the stage during Sunday’s gig, they repeated the stunt – only that a hundred times larger.
Beside performing hits like “Viva La Vida” and “Fix You,” the iconic band invited Ariana Grande to the stage to perform “Don’t Look Back In Anger” alongside the 50,000 fans that attended the concert. The result was a massive chanting that will give you the goosebumps of your life.
The British band was later joined by Oasis’ Liam Gallagher. For the surprise appearance, Gallagher performed a rendition of “Live Forever” alongside Coldplay. The rock star remained onstage with his solo band for a surprise set that included the hit “Rock N’ Roll Star” and his latest single “Wall of Glass.” While it would have been the greatest gift for Manchester, Noel Gallagher wasn’t anywhere near for a much-desired Oasis reunion.
Katy Perry’s speech summarized the entire show
Katy Perry took the stage wearing a dress covered in photos of victims of the attack. That’s quite a visceral way to make a statement, I might say. The singer performed her hits “Part Of Me” and “Roar” but she also gave a moving speech about why the concert meant so much and the importance of never letting hate win over love.
“It’s not easy to always choose love, is it?” she asked. “Especially in moments like these, right? It can be the most difficult thing to do. But love conquers fear, and love conquers hate. And this love that you choose will give you strength. It’s our greatest power.”
Then she asked everyone watching – fans at the venue and people watching from home – to touch the person next to them. “Make human contact. Tell them, ‘I love you.’ Look in their eyes. Say, ‘I love you!’ Do it. Everyone out there. Everyone at home. I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult. Let no one take that away from you.”
A spectacular ending for an unforgettable show
To bring the amazing night to an end, Ariana Grande brought onstage most of the stars that performed during the show and great part of the staff that made everything possible. The singer performed with a broken voice her hit “One Last Time,” while the artists remained behind her, clapping in support.
When the singer gained back her breath and her energy, she did an earnest cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” She even had to stop the performance near the end of the song because she got so overwhelmed. But the crowd cheered her up and helped her toward the finale of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ classic.