Less than two weeks following the tragic attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the “Into You” singer triumphantly returned to the stage to perform at the One Love Manchester benefit concert.
Originally organized to mark the May 22 suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 22 people in the Manchester Arena, Sunday’s concert took on added meaning after three assailants killed seven people and injured nearly 50 on Saturday night at the London Bridge and Borough Market in London.
Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, said in a statement on Sunday that the singer’s show would go on with “greater purpose” following Saturday’s attack.
When the 23-year-old singer, dressed in a One Love Manchester sweatshirt, finally walked onstage, the crowd erupted into cheers. She kicked off her performance with the upbeat “Be Alright,” and followed up with “Break Free.” The songs seemed to take on more powerful meanings during the Sunday night performance.
Grande was visibly emotional, and appeared to tear up as she finished the songs. The singer thanked the crowd multiple times during the concert, at one point telling them, “The kind of love and unity that you’re displaying is the medicine the world really needs right now.”