By Debi Zeleny
Ariana Grande has announced that she will return to Manchester for a gig to benefit the families of those lost and injured in a suicide bombing at her concert this week.
Writing in a lengthy statement on Twitter, Grande said she would return to “brave” Manchester. She wrote: “I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families.”
22 were killed in the terror attack, including gay fan Martyn Hett, 29, whose death prompted moving tributes from family members, friends and Mariah Carey. Hett’s mother said today that when she thinks of him, she just thinks happy thoughts.
Tributes to the singer and her fans have poured in from around the world, with messages from fellow popstars like Taylor Swift, local musicians including Liam Gallagher and The Charlatans, and world leaders.
Ariana’s manager Scooter Braun said: “Tonight our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack. “We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester’s first responders who rushed towards danger to help save lives. “We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers.”
The Queen visited hospitals in Manchester to comfort some of the 116 injured fans, many of whom are teenagers, and called the attack “dreadful” and “very wicked”.
23-year-old Grande was criticized by Piers Morgan, Good Morning Britain host, after she returned to Florida to be with her family after the incident. Morgan reacted to this pleasant act of kindness of the Queen visiting victims by criticizing the 23-year-old singer, commenting: “Might have been nice if Ariana Grande had stayed to do the same.”
Grande was also criticized by Milo Yiannopoulos who said she was “pro-Islam and anti-America”.