Next week marks the one year anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack that killed 22 people and left 500 others injured after an Ariana Grande concert. In honour of the milestone, Time Magazine checked in with Grande and she shared how she’s feeling a year later, what the global response has meant and how she still thinks about the tragedy every day.
She told Time she’s still not quite sure how to balance wanting to honour the human loss and wanting to reject the negativity.
“There’s so many people who have suffered such loss and pain,” she said in the interview through sobs, “The processing part is going to take forever. I don’t want to give [the attack] that much power. Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans see something like that happen and think it won.”
Ariana Grande is ready to be happy https://t.co/YeujLbXC5b
— TIME (@TIME) May 18, 2018
Regardless, she shared that the healing process is long and hard. Especially since the attack was in a place meant to be safe and familiar.
“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world,” she said, “I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day. I wish there was more I could fix. You think with time it will become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for the peace to come and it’s still very painful.”
The singer shared another way she carries the tragedy – and the strength of the community – along with her: a bee tattoo. The bee – specifically the worker bee — has been a symbol of the hardworking people of Manchester since the Industrial Revolution. Grande and members of her crew got tattoos of the symbol shortly after the attack. A bee also flies away at the very end of her “No Tears Left to Cry” music video – the hopeful pop tune she released this year which is about “picking things up,” as she says.
Time also talked to Grande’s publicist, Scooter Braun, about the days after the massacre. He said that Ariana originally wanted to cancel the remainder of her tour, saying, “I can never sing these songs again.” Two days later, she called Braun up with the idea for the One Love Manchester show. Grande wanted to do the concert to benefit the victims’ families and to acknowledge that they didn’t “die in vain.” Overall, the concert raised $12 million.
Ariana’s feature is part of Time’s “Next Generation Leaders” issue which focuses on “rising activists, artists and athletes.” It’s a spotlight on young people who are making positive change in the world with their actions and art. In a cultural moment where the leaders of gun control advocacy are all under the age of majority, this year’s “Next Generation Leaders” issue couldn’t be timelier.
Grande actually met with some of the survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting in March. She performed at the March For Our Lives held in Washington D.C. to protest for tighter gun control in the United States and stood with the Parkland teens during the event.
— Ariana Grande Today (@ArianaTodayNet) March 24, 2018
Despite what the past year has brought, Grande finished off the interview on a positive note.
“I’m happy,” she said, “I’m crying, but I’m happy.”