**UPDATE: Following the tragic terrorist attack earlier this week, pop singer Ariana Grande has issued an official statement that she will return to Manchester, England, to honor and raise funds for the the victims and their families.
“I want to thank my fellow musicians and friends for reaching out to be part of our expression of love for Manchester,” she said in a heartfelt letter. “I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed.”
In the post, Ariana praises her fans worldwide for their response to the attack. “The compassion, kindness, love, strength, and oneness that you’ve shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday,” she writes. “Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.” She also encourages her fans to not “operate in fear.”
“We will continue to honor the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans, and all affected by this tragedy,” she adds. “They will be on my mind and in my heart everyday and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”
Grande did not announce when she intends to resume her Dangerous Woman Tour.
What started off as a lively concert and the dream of a lifetime for many young teens attending an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester ended as a tragic day in history when a suicide bomber blew himself up killing 22 people and injuring at least 50 others. Moments after Grande left the stage following her final performance, the bomb was set off. Fans who were worried about the well-being of the pop star were put at ease when she tweeted about five hours after the performance “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
When the bomb exploded, masses of concertgoers began running from the exits erupting in chaos around the stadium. The arena Grande played at was the largest indoor arena in Europe, with a seating capacity of 21,000 people. Grande was nearly halfway through the European leg of her “Dangerous Woman” world tour when the Manchester bombing took place. She has decided to put the remainder of her European tour on hold until she is emotionally ready to return to the stage. Grande and her team were deeply concerned about the security of her and her concertgoers. Universal Media Group, Grande’s music label, released a statement saying: “We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight’s devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.”
Considered the most deadly terrorist attack since the London Underground Bombings on July 7, 2015, Prime Minister Theresa May is currently investigating “the full details of (the) appalling terrorist attack.” All the trains near the Manchester Arena were canceled, and police have been advising the public to avoid the area. Britain is currently on critical terror alert with nearly 1,000 soldiers being deployed to the streets to support the police. Soldiers have also been deployed outside of Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Downing Street, with the warning by security experts that another terrorist attack could be imminent.