The singer will be recognised for helping to raise nearly £3m for those affected by the recent terror attack
US singer Ariana Grande is to be named the first honorary citizen on Manchester after the benefit concert she held to raise money for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack brought in millions of pounds.
The 23-year-old pop star was widely credited for her “resilient and compassionate” response to the attack, which took place as concert goers were making the way out of the theatre where she had just performed on May 22nd.
A suicide-bomber killed 22 people and injured 220 others in the attack, including several children.
The decision to award the singer honorary citizenship comes as the city council revealed it was planning to host an event that would pay homage to the “great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit” that Manchester has witnessed in the weeks since.
“This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognise those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city,” said Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.
“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 May 22nd, with love and courage rather than hatred and fear.
“Ariana Grande exemplified this response. I think may people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted – if the council approves the proposal – to make it official.”
Returning to the city less than two weeks after the attacks, Grande spearheaded a charity benefit concert at the Old Trafford cricket ground. With performances by Grande, Niall Horan, Liam Gallagher, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, the One Love Manchester concert was the most watched TV broadcast of the year and raised almost £3m (€3.4m).
Grande also spent hours with some of the hospitalised victims of the attack and met with the families of those who lost their lives.
Honorary citizenship is the second-highest honour the council can bestow upon a person, superseded only by ‘Freedom of the City’, which has only been awarded to four people in the 21st century by the city of Manchester.