“There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain,” Grande told Time. “The processing part is going to take forever.”
“I don’t want to give [the attack] that much power,” she continued. “Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won.”
She added, “Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world… I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.” She expressed that she knows there’s no solution. “I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”
On May 22, 2017, a suicide bomber set off an explosive in the arena, killing 23 people and injuring over 500 others. Afterward, Grande postponed her tour until June 7, and on June 4, held a televised benefit concert called One Love Manchester, where Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, and more performed. She ended up raising $12 million to aid the victims and their families.
However, Grande’s initial reaction after the bombing was to cancel the tour, even when her manager Scooter Braun suggested otherwise. “I said, ‘We need to get a concert and get back out there.’ She looked at me like I was insane. She said, ‘I can never sing these songs again. I can’t put on these outfits. Don’t put me in this position.’”
Two days later, Grande came around, telling Braun, “If I don’t do something, these people died in vain.” They then decided to put on the concert.