Last month, Manchester wanted to name Ariana Grande as an honorary citizen following her “many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit” after the May 22nd terror attack which targeted the singer’s Dangerous Woman tour in the city and left 22 people dead. One month later, the city council unanimously passed a motion that officially made Grande Manchester’s first-ever honorary citizen.
— elizabeth ♡ (@arianasthread) July 12, 2017
On July 12th, Manchester city council leader Sir Richard Leese made a specific proposal to grant honorary citizenship to “a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted the see this place again.”
The council leader added: “But no, instead, she as an artist, a performer, was determined that she would not perform again until she had returned to Manchester to perform. In doing so she bought comfort to thousands, she raised millions for the We Love Manchester emergency funds and became the first patron of that fund. And that’s why this morning I propose that Ariana Grande is made the first honourary citizen of the city of Manchester.”
The distinction, which BBC reported is a first of its kind, is part of a new system proposed by city council to recognize outstanding contributions to the city.
“This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognize those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city,” said Leese back on June 13, adding Grande is already considered an “honorary Mancunian.”
“We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and 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.”
Leese said the 23-year-old songstress “exemplified” this response through her organization of the celeb-filled “One Love” benefit concert in support of the victims of the attack. The show, which featured artists such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Chris Martin, was livestreamed across the world, and raised over $3 million for the Red Cross.
Additionally, a day before the concert, the “Problem” songstress made a surprise visit to Royal Manchester’s Children’s Hospital to see fans who were injured during the attack.
Since the announcement, Grande responded to the distinction with a short (but sweet) message on Instagram.
“I don’t know what to say. Words don’t suffice,” she wrote in the Instagram caption. “I’m moved and honored. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you.”
Well deserved, Ariana.
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