By Mark Kennedy / Associated Press
NEW YORK — Ariana Grande has vowed to return to Manchester, England, to give a concert to raise money for the victims of Monday’s deadly bombing at her show there.
In a statement both defiant and heavy with emotion, the pop star on Friday wrote to her fans, saying “we won’t let hate win” and “we won’t let this divide us.” She apologized for any pain and offered to “extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours.”
“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 wrote.
She did not announce a date for the concert.
Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman world tour and canceled several European shows, including two London shows, after the bombing, which left 22 dead. The tour will restart June 7 in Paris.
“From the day I started putting the Dangerous Woman Tour together, I said that this show, more than anything else, was intended to be a safe space for my fans. A place for them to escape, to celebrate. To heal, to feel safe and to be themselves,” she wrote. “This will not change that.”
In attacking the concert, the bomber targeted an audience full of teenagers and ‘tweens — Grande fans who call themselves “Arianators.” Some wore kitten ears, like the star of the show.
“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 wrote.
Some bands — including Blondie, Kiss and Take That — have canceled shows after the blast but representatives for several music acts — including Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Shawn Mendes, Guns N’ Roses and Phil Collins — said they will honor their European dates this summer.