An “overwhelmed” Ariana Grande has spoken of her “love” for Manchester as she performed in the city for the first time since her tribute concert in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.
The 26-year-old US pop star, headlining this year’s Manchester Pride celebrations, finished her 35-minute set with her song One Last Time, which adopted a secondary meaning as it was used to pay homage to victims of the attack.
Twenty-two people, including seven children, were killed in the suicide bombing at her concert in May 2017.
In an emotional address to fans during her performance at the Mayfield depot on Sunday, the singer said: “I love Manchester so much, thank you so much for having me back.
“I’m so happy to be here with you – it means the world – so thank you for having me. I’m sorry, I’m so nervous, I had so much more to say but I’m like very overwhelmed so thank you. Happy, happy, happy Pride – it’s so beautiful, I love you so much.”
Before taking the stage, Grande, who was made an honorary citizen of Manchester after the bombing, tweeted: “On our way to manchester pride. ??? love u so much. can’t wait to give u all our love. you’re my heart in every way. see u soon. ?”
Fans posted on social media, expressing their delight at the singer’s Pride performance.
One Twitter user said her rendition of One Last Time, which was re-released as a charity single following the attack, was “truly beautiful”, while one Instagram user added: “Omg she sang One Last Time, this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, she is amazing ♡.”
The No Tears Left To Cry singer last played in Manchester at the One Love concert she organised in June 2017 to raise money for the emergency fund following the bombing, which occurred the previous month.