Ariana Grande 'moved' by Manchester honour
Ariana Grande has said she is “moved and honoured” to become Manchester’s first honorary citizen.
The singer was given the award after her response to the terror attack at her gig at the Manchester Arena.
Councillors unanimously accepted a proposal for the star to be the first recipient in a new system recognising people who have made an outstanding contribution to the city without living in it.
Following the suicide bomb attack at her show at Manchester Arena in May, the 23-year-old singer organised the One Love Manchester concert just two weeks later, with numerous other stars, including Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Coldplay, and Manchester’s own Liam Gallagher, taking to the stage in tribute to the victims.
The concert has so far raised almost £3 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
:: The victims of the Manchester terror attack
In a message posted on her Instagram page, Ariana Grande said: ” I don’t know what to say. Words don’t suffice. I’m moved and honoured.
“My heart is very much still there. I love you.”
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said Grande had “exemplified” the “resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May – with love and courage rather than hatred and fear”.
The suggested proposal was discussed in detail at a council meeting on Wednesday, attended by family members of some of the victims.
“Manchester continues to move forwards with strength, spirit and its trademark swagger. But we will never forget the terrible events of 22 May and their aftermath,” said Sir Richard.
“As well as honouring the victims and all those affected, it is important that we remember the extraordinary acts of courage and generosity of spirit which we have witnessed.
“The worst of times have in many ways brought out the best in the city.”
Following the terror attack, it would have been understandable if Grande “never wanted to see this place again”, Sir Richard said.
Instead, she returned to visit survivors in hospital and to put on the One Love gig, bringing “comfort to thousands”.
“Many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian,” the council leader said.
The meeting also heard from several people involved in the response to the attack.
Lorraine Hulme, a ward sister at Wythenshawe Hospital who was on duty on the night of the tragedy, said: “I feel extremely proud to be part of such an outstanding team and I know the same can be said for all hospitals and their staff involved across the region.”