Two weeks after the bombing at her concert, which killed 22 people and left 116 injured, Ariana Grande fearlessly returned to the Manchester stage.
Before kicking off her set at the One Love Manchester benefit concert with an energetic performance of “Be Alright,” Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, introduced her with a heartfelt message. Braun also acknowledged the series of tragic events that took place in London on Saturday night, stating that concertgoers had a difficult decision to make.
“Last night, this nation was challenged and all of you were challenged, and you had a decision to make if you were going to come out here tonight,” he said. “And this is so beautiful. You guys made that decision, you looked fear right in the face and you said, ‘No, we are Manchester, and the world is watching.’”
The show’s co-producer continued, “I had the privilege of joining Ariana at the children’s hospital the other night, and I’m proud to say that there’s a TV set up there right now, and those kids are watching us live, so please say hello to all those kids. I promised one of those kids that I would deliver a message. His name is Adam. He’s 15 years old. He lost his best friend Olivia that night, and after his surgery, we met him. Just as I was about to leave the room, Adam looked at me and he said, ‘Hey, Scooter, make sure you tell them, ‘Don’t go forward in anger, love spreads.’ Adam, if you’re watching, you’re our hero tonight.”
Grande herself fought back tears as she talked about meeting the mother of victim Olivia Campbell, 15, who died in the deadly explosion.
“As soon as I met her I started crying and I gave her a big hug and she said I should stop crying because Olivia would have wanted me to stop crying,” she shared. “And she said Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits.”
The “Dangerous Woman” singer also joined other acts on stage, including Victoria Monet, Coldplay and the Black Eyed Peas to sing, “Where Is the Love?”
Grande later sang a duet with Miley Cyrus, covering Crowded House’s hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
For more on Grande’s reaction to the Manchester attacks, watch the video below.