Entertainment

Monday 21 August 2017

Manchester councillors unanimously back Ariana Grande for honorary city citizen

The council leader said the singer brought “comfort to thousands” following the Manchester Arena bombing.

Ariana Grande (Dave Hogan/PA)
Ariana Grande (Dave Hogan/PA)

By Francesca Gosling

Councillors in Manchester voted unanimously to make Ariana Grande an honorary citizen of the city following the terror attack in which 22 people died.

Family members of some of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing were at Manchester Town Hall for the meeting on Wednesday morning.

There, the council also voted to hold civic receptions for those who helped with the response and to propose a new awards scheme to recognise outstanding contributions to the city.

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, carried out the attack on May 22 after a concert by US pop star Grande.

Council leader Sir Richard Leese put forward the motion and described the 23-year-old singer as “a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again”.

He said instead she “brought comfort to thousands and raised millions for the We Love Manchester emergency fund” by returning to the city to perform in June after organising the One Love Manchester benefit concert.

The meeting heard from several guest speakers who had been involved in the response.

The event included performances by the Halle String Quartet, who played Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger.

Lord Mayor Eddy Newman said the song had become an “anthem for the way the city and the people of Manchester have remained strong and committed to peace and justice in defiance of the act of evil that was committed at the arena”.

He told family members at the meeting: “You are forever in the hearts of Manchester and its people.”

Leaders of different faiths from across the city said prayers at the start of the meeting and the names of the 22 victims, including seven children, were read out before a minute’s silence.

Councillor Sue Murphy, who seconded the motion, said planning for a permanent memorial to the victims in the city would begin in September.

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