BOCA RATON — Boca Raton native Ariana Grande, 24, will soon enjoy honorary citizenship in Manchester, England. She is the first person to receive the award.
The singer is being recognized by the Manchester City Council for her response to the May 22 suicide bombing that claimed the life of 22 people, including 7 children, who were leaving her Dangerous Woman show at Manchester arena.
Grande reacted to the attack by issuing a statement, which read, “There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. 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.”
Shortly after, she visited many of the victims at the hospital, and helped raise almost $4 million with her One Love Manchester concert held 13 days after the bombing, and which featured Robbie Williams, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry and Coldplay, among others.
The Manchester City Council voted unanimously to award her honorary citizenship today. Members of the victim’s family were on hand as the motion was passed. The council will also host civic receptions for first responders.
Council leader Sir Richard Leese, who was responsible for the motion, described Grande as “a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again.
“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 council meeting culminated with a performance of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger by the Halle String Quartet.
Eddy Newman, the Lord Mayor, said the song by the Manchester natives Oasis had become an “anthem for the way the city and the people of Manchester have remained strong and committed to peace and justice in defiance of the act of evil that was committed at the arena”.
He also addressed the victim’s families. “You are forever in the hearts of Manchester and its people.”