This year, Ariana Grande’s name was at the center of one of the worst terror attacks in history. On May 22, the pop star’s Dangerous Woman Tour came to an abrupt halt when a suicide bomber set off an explosion after her concert at Manchester Arena. Twenty-two people were killed, and over 500 more were injured, many of them young concertgoers and parents.
Grande promptly suspended her tour and flew to her mother’s home in Boca Raton, Florida, where she kept a low profile and tweeted that she felt “broken.” As fans continued to process the tragedy, no one expected Grande to simply pick up her mic again and carry on, but that’s exactly what the 24-year-old did. Within a week, Grande had visited with victims in the hospital and announced that she would host a star-studded benefit concert in Manchester.
The event came together remarkably quickly, and on June 4, Grande and a stellar lineup of her peers — including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Niall Horan — hit the stage for One Love Manchester. The concert raised more than $13 million for victims of the attack and, most importantly, bolstered courage among an audience that desperately needed it. Grande, in particular, was a beacon of strength that night, and her tearful but poised performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” may live on as one of the enduring moments of her career — in the wake of a much darker one.
The Dangerous Woman Tour picked back up on June 7 in Paris, and came to an emotional end in September in Hong Kong. Returning to the stage was a true act of bravery and resilience, and something that Grande said she never thought twice about, no matter how traumatic the experience in Manchester. As she explained in an interview with Coveteur, “Calling it off and going home was not an option. The message of the show was too important.”