Ariana Grande‘s new YouTube docuseries — behind-the-scenes of her “Dangerous Woman” tour and the making of Sweetener — is so very Ari. It’s filled with fun, fluffy moments and lots of that voice. But the May 2017 Manchester, England, bombing couldn’t be ignored. While footage from that show — when 22 were killed and many more were injured by a suicide bomber as they exited the arena — wasn’t shown in Episode 4 of the YouTube series, the screen went to black, and a letter she wrote to fans eight months after the attack was shown.“I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018,” it said.
“It’s been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It’s impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part. May 22, 2017 will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life.
“Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known. Music — pop music, stan culture — is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort, it is fun, it is expression, it is happiness, it is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe.
“When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that … it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from.
“The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated. To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment.
“The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity. ‘Like a handprint on my heart’ … I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”
Grande put her tour on a two-week hiatus after the bombing, so the next bit of footage was her memorable rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the Manchester benefit show.
In June, Grande said she suffered PTSD — the anxiety disorder that occurs following a traumatic event — after the bombing. “I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well,” she told British Vogue. “I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience — like I shouldn’t even say anything.”
She continued, “It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss.” She said “time” has been the “biggest thing” in recovering from the trauma.
If you feel like there’s been a lot of Ariana in the news, you’re right. In addition to this docuseries, which streams as premium content on YouTube, she’ll be releasing the highly anticipated new video for “Thank You, Next” on Friday. She’s been teasing it like crazy and released a behind-the-scenes clip of it on Thursday.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 29, 2018
The song is about moving on from her recent broken engagement with Pete Davidson — as well as getting over other past loves, also including Mac Miller, who died of an overdose in September.
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