In her new docu-series, in an emotional letter to fans, Ariana Grande opens up about her feelings about what she calls the “horrendous” 2017 suicide bombing at her Manchester concert.
Grande announced on social media earlier this week that the biographical project, titled Dangerous Woman Diaries, has been produced and will begin airing on Thursday. Four episodes were released on YouTube. In the fourth one, Grande displays a letter she penned to her fans about the Manchester terrorist attack, which killed 22 people and injured at least 500 others.
“I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018,” she wrote. “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,” she continued. “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.”
Grande, who was unharmed physically in the attack, had suffered symptoms of PTSD following the bombing. Immediately after the attack, Grande boarded a private plane and flew to her grandmother’s house in Florida. She later co-organized and performed at the One Love Manchester concert to help benefit the victims and their families. Grande’s docu-series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the benefit concert. Footage of the singer singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” onstage and of fans holding “for our angels’ signs and balloons are also shown.
“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,” Grande wrote in her letter. “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 hand print on my heart,’ she wrote, quoting one of her favorite musicals, Wicked. “I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”