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On May 22, an explosive device was detonated at the end of Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people and wounding 59 others. The devastating attack, which targeted Grande’s young audience, was felt around the world.
After promising to return to Manchester, Grande did just that less than two weeks after the attack. Featuring an incredible line up, which included Marcus Mumford, Niall Horan, Robbie Williams, Take That, Little Mix, Coldplay, Pharrell, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Imogen Heap, the Black Eyed Peas, Liam Gallagher and Justin Bieber, One Love Manchester was televised around the world and reportedly raised $12 million and counting.
A celebration of the human spirit, One Love Manchester succeeded in delivering its message that love is louder, with no shortage of emotional and inspiring moments throughout the three hour event.
Check out some of our favourite moments below.
Robbie Williams sings “Angels”
English singer Robbie Williams played a sold-out show in Manchester the night before One Love Manchester to kick off his tour for The Heavy Entertainment Show. During the concert, Williams changed the lyrics to his 1998 song “Strong” to “Manchester, we’re strong.” Williams performed the revamped version of the song again at the end of his emotional rendition of “Angels” during Sunday’s concert, with the singer on the verge of losing his voice following his concert the night before. Thankfully, the crowd was there to help him along every step of the way.
Ariana Grande and Victoria Monet perform “Better Days”
Following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead, Ariana Grande teamed up with fellow singer and frequent co-writer Victoria Monet to pen the inspiring track “Better Days.” Sadly, the song rang all too true yet again following the terrorist attack at Grande’s concert on May 22.
Miley Cyrus and Pharrell Williams sing “Happy”
Sunday’s benefit concert was full of emotional moments, but throughout the three hour event, the A-list line up of performers did their best to make the concert a celebration of life. What song could better represent that than Pharrell’s “Happy”?
Coldplay sing “Fix You”
English band Coldplay had ample stage time during Sunday’s charity concert and for good reason. The local band have become international superstars thanks to their inspiring tracks, including their 2005 single “Fix You.” Taking on a even deeper meaning on Sunday, the band performed the track with lead singer Chris Martin giving one of his trademark high energy performances that was reciprocated by the crowd.
Justin Bieber’s tearful performance of “Cold Water”
For almost a decade, 23 year-old Justin Bieber has been reaching young pop fans with his music. His albums have sold millions thanks to his popularity with the pre-teen and teen demographic, the same group of fans that were in attendance the night of Grande’s Manchester concert in May. Devastated by the loss of young lives, Bieber understandably broke down during his performance of “Cold Water,” but like a pro, the Canadian singer managed to do what he does best and deliver a memorable performance for his fans.
Katy Perry honours the victims of the Manchester Terror Attack
Katy Perry has become known for her iconic and sometimes shocking onstage costumes, but during her performance on Sunday, the popstar debuted her most inspiring look yet. Wearing a dress made from pictures of the Manchester Terror Attack victims, Perry delivered an inspiring speech before launching into “Part of Me” and “Roar.” Addressing the crowd of 50,000, Perry said, “It’s not easy to always choose love, is it? Especially in moments like these, right? It can be the most difficult thing to do. But love conquers fear, and love conquers hate. And this love that you choose will give you strength. It’s our greatest power.” Encouraging concert attendees and all those watching at home to make a connection with a stranger or loved one, Perry said, “Just touch the next person. Touch a person next to you. Make human contact. Tell them, ‘I love you.’ Look in their eyes. Say, ‘I love you!’ Do it. Everyone out there. Everyone at home. I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult. Let no one take that away from you.”
Liam Gallagher’s surprise performance
Following Coldplay’s performance of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” it seemed like a disappointing certainty that the Manchester band would not be making an appearance. So when Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher hit the stage for a set, the crowd, and the rest of the world, went wild. In one of the most somber and poignant moments of the night, Gallagher dedicated “Live Forever” to the 22 people who lost their lives at the deadly Manchester attack.
Ariana Grande closes the show with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
‘Strong’ was the word most frequently used to describe Ariana Grande by her co-performers during Sunday’s show and rightly so. After the devastating terror attack at her Manchester concert on May 22 left 22 people dead, Grande returned to the city less than two weeks later to visit injured fans in the hospital and put together a star-studded charity concert. Not only did Grande ‘play the hits,’ as the mother of one of her deceased fans told her to do, she did it with a professionalism that is unparalleled. Closing the concert with a soaring performance of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” Grande finally allowed herself a few tearful moments before finishing the song performed in tribute to her fallen fans.