Ariana Grande’s Manchester Bombing Letter in Dangerous Woman Diaries
Ariana Grande‘s long-anticipated docu-series, the Dangerous Woman Diaries, released its first four episodes on Thursday night ahead of the release of her music video for her surprise single “thank u, next” on Friday. Despite her record-breaking career highs, the Sweetener songstress has had a rough year including the end of an engagement, the death of an ex-boyfriend, and the continued effects of the 2017 Manchester bombing on her mental health. Ariana, who has been open about her continued sorrow regarding the attack, shared a letter in the fourth episode of the series written eight months after the Manchester bombing.
Ariana refrained from showing any footage from the show where the attack occurred. Instead, the screen went black, and Ariana’s letter regarding the attack played onscreen.
“It’s impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part,” Ari explained. “May 22, 2017 will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life.”
Ari has been outspoken about suffering from PTSD following the incident, telling British Vogue in July that she feels like she shouldn’t even say anything about her own experience in deference to the families who suffered losses in the attack.
Ariana’s Manchester bombing letter goes on to say that she sees music as the safest thing she’s ever known, so the “poisonous” event has been shocking and heartbreaking in a way that “seems impossible to fully recover from.” Ari said she’s drawn inspiration from the “love, strength, and unity” displayed by the people of Manchester, which showed her and her team “to continue during the scariest and saddest times” and “to not let hate win, but instead, love as loudly as possible.”
“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,” Ariana wrote.
The docu-series followed the letter with footage of her performing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” at One Love Manchester, the benefit concert hosted by Ariana after the bombing to support the victims and their families. One Love Manchester raised over £10 million in only twelve hours, with a final amount of over £17 million going to those affected by the tragedy.
New York Magazine described her closing performance of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” as one of the defining moments of her career after she finally allowed herself to sob along with the audience, “then resumed the music to nail yet another impossible note.”
“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,” Ari continued before quoting her favorite musical, Wicked. “‘Like a handprint on my heart’ … I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.” I’m sure I’m not the only one with chills right now.