Ariana Grande’s Manchester Benefit Concert Opens With Mumford & Sons Frontman Marcus Mumford, Robbie Williams
Mumford & Sons’ frontman Marcus Mumford kicked off the One Love Manchester concert with a touching moment of silence at the Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester, U.K., on Sunday.
The English rocker opened the show, organized by Ariana Grande and her team to raise money for victims of the fatal terrorist attack following her Manchester show on May 22.
Following the silence, Mumford declared, ‘Let’s not be afraid,’ and started singing his band’s track “Timshel,” before introducing British boy band Take That.
The quintet performed as fans in the thousands-strong crowd held up signs reading “For Our Angels,” then handed the stage over to “our friend and brother,” Robbie Williams.
Sporting a Justin Bieber Purpose hoodie, Williams replaced the chorus lyrics of his hit “Strong” with the words, “Manchester we’re strong, we’re strong, we’re strong. We’re still singing our song, our song, our song,” as the crowd chanted along.
The audience also belted out fan favorite “Angels” with the singer.
The boy band takeover continued as One Direction’s Niall Horan took to the stage, causing some fans to tear up as he dedicated “This Town” to victims of the suicide bombing.
“I’ve been lucky enough to travel all around the world and every time I come back to Manchester I’m addicted to this place,” he told the crowd. “When I saw you guys all rallying together last week, it was a sight to behold. We love you, we’re with you, all of us are with you guys — the whole world is watching.”
Miley Cyrus paid tribute to Grande’s friendship and support of her charity, the Happy Hippie Foundation. The “Malibu” singer also noted Grande’s strength as a role model.
“As a human, we should always be who we say are and I think Ariana has proved that,” Cyrus said. “She says that she’s a good role model for so many of you girls out there and I think she’s proved that by putting this together and allowing all of us to be a part of it.”
“But for tonight I am here for all you,” she continued before playing “Inspired.” “I’ve played here a bunch of times, I’ve always loved Manchester — not just today, it’s always felt like a home away from home for me. So, I’m happy to be back.”
Grande herself took the stage for an emotional set introduced by her manager, Scooter Braun who declared, “Hatred will never win.”
“Just a week ago she called me,” he continued, before bringing Grande on stage. “And I said, ‘Ariana, it’s okay.’ She said Scooter, ‘If we do nothing, I can’t live with that. We must do something.’ She’s one of the bravest people I know.”
Pharrell, Little Mix and the Black Eyed Peas — joined by Grande for “Where Is the Love?” — also performed, while Katy Perry and Usher are set to take the stage, as well as Grande’s boyfriend, Mac Miller, who will duet with the songstress.
Niall Horan, Miley Cyrus, Bieber, Katy Perry and Usher are also set to perform at the concert, as well as Grande’s boyfriend, Mac Miller, who will duet with the songstress.
Proceeds from the show will go to Red Cross’s Manchester Emergency Fund.
See more on the Manchester tragedy below.