Just two weeks after the terrorist bombing that killed 23 people and injured 119, Ariana Grande returned to Manchester to headline a fundraising concert to benefit those affected by the attack. One Love Manchester included such heavy pop hitters as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Coldplay, as well as the world’s model Mancunian, Liam Gallagher.
Proceeds from the event went to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, established by the city of Manchester and the British Red Cross in response to the bombing. In the 12 hours following the concert, the Red Cross reported it had received over £10 million (about $17 million CND) in donations.
Ariana Grande, her team, and the other performers have to be credited for returning to the scene of the attack in such a short time. Even so, the concert could have easily strayed into the mawkish or overly sentimental, but by all accounts, it was an evening of joyous, exuberant affirmation and defiance in the wake of a national tragedy. Exemplifying the healing power of pop music, the celebration feels all the more necessary following another attack in the vicinity of London Bridge on Saturday night.
Watch Ariana perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and duet with Miley Cyrus for a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” at the benefit below: