"Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I've ever known."
The singer had finished her show at Manchester Arena in May 2017 when suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up in the arena foyer, killing 22 people and injuring over 100 others.
Only weeks later, Grande returned to the city for a triumphant concert that saw her being joined by an all-star line-up including Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Liam Gallagher.
In the latest episode of her docu-series, Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries, the singer shared an emotional letter about the attack.
“I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018. It’s been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It’s impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part. May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life”, Grande says.
“Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known. Music – pop music, stan culture – is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe.
“When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that… it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from.”
The singer, who experienced post traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the tragedy, also praises the resilience of everyday mancunians.
“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. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated”, she says.
“To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment. 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. 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.”