Ariana Grande is speaking to her fans after the bombing at her Manchester concert in a heartfelt open letter posted to Instagram Friday.
“My heart, prayers and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved ones,” she wrote. “There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”
She continued, “The only thing we can do now is choose how we let this affect us and how we live our lives from here on out. I have been thinking of my fans, and of you all, non stop over the past week. The way you have handled all of this has been more inspiring and made me more proud than you’ll ever now. 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.”
The lengthy letter goes on to apologize to the fans who were affected and to promise that the terror attack will not divide them or “let hate win.”
“I don’t want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans, the same way they continue to uplift me,” Grande wrote. “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. I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to thank my fellow musicians and friends for reaching out to be a part of our expression of love for Manchester. I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed.”
She ended her letter with a promise to continue to honor those lost in the bombing, which killed 22 and wounded 59 others.
“We will continue in honor of the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy,” she wrote. “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.”
This is the first time Grande has spoken out about the attack other than a short tweet she posted immediately after it happened, writing that she was “broken” and “so so sorry” for the tragedy.
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In the days since news of the bombing hit, numerous celebrities and politicians have spoken out in support of both Grande and the victims of the tragedy. Queen Elizabeth II even visited victims at the Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital this week.
ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attack, and as of Friday, eight men were in custody while police searched for a ninth, the man believed to be responsible for actually constructing the device that suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated at the concert.
Grande is still in her hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, and has suspended her tour until at least June 5.
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