In an emotional gathering Wednesday honoring those affected by the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert, the city council of Manchester, England, made the American pop star the town’s first honorary citizen.
“It would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again,” council leader Sir Richard Leese addressed his fellow representatives, as some victims’ family members watched from the public gallery, according to combined British media reports.
“But no,” he continued. “Instead she, as an artist and performer, determined she would not perform again until she had returned to Manchester to perform. In doing so, she brought comfort to thousands, she raised millions for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and became the first patron of that fund. And that’s why I propose that Ariana Grande is made the first honorary citizen of the city of Manchester.”
Councilmembers responded “aye” in unison to pass the motion, first proposed last month.
Grande, 24, has not responded on social media.
The singer had organized the One Love Manchester benefit concert June 4 to help survivors and their families following the terrorist bombing at her Manchester Arena concert. The British Red Cross said the show, featuring Grande, Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Katy Perry, Pharrell, Take That and others, raised more than $3 million.
The Manchester Evening News reported Wednesday that the city council and British government were continuing to wrestle over how to pay the administrative costs for caseworkers to assess the needs of survivors, some of whom sustained permanent injury, and distribute the overall emergency fund’s $15.5 million.