Ariana Grande’s Star-Studded One Love Manchester Benefit Was Emotional, ‘Loving' & 'Strong’

The benefit featuring Grande, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry a dozen other stars helped raise over $12 million

Written by Jessica Letkemann • June 4, 2017

Ariana Grande and an almost endless list of major music stars came together at the One Love Manchester concert at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on Sunday (June 4) to benefit the victims of the May 22 terrorist attack outside Grande’s Manchester Arena concert. Strength, emotion, and above all, love shined through the entire evening as Grande, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Pharrell, Niall Horan, Take That, Mac Miller and many more — including a surprise appearance by Liam Gallagher — took the stage in turn to perform for the sold out crowd of 50,000 and a global audience of millions watching and listening via live stream and television.

One Love Manchester Gallery: See Photos from the Whole Show

Fans will be able to relive the mega-benefit via a special Spotify playlist stream of the event, which will be available soon at OneLoveManchester.com. But people around the world have already shown their love by raising over £10 million (nearly $12 million) for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, including £2 million raised during the three-hour concert alone. Online donations to the fund can be made at Redcross.org.uk/Love.

It was a moment following Grande’s duet with Miley Cyrus, that began to put the enormous power of the night into words. "I love you so, so much,” Ariana said. “Thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified. I love you guys so much, and I think the kind of unity you're displaying is the medicine the world needs right now."

Early in the night, Mumford and Sons’ Marcus Mumford, too, had poignant word for the audience, following a moment of silence for the victims. “Let’s not be afraid,” he said. And the concert that followed was indeed an antidote to fear.

Following Mumford’s opening performance of “Timshel,” Manchester natives Take That played a trio of songs. Robbie Williams’ set led to singalong, and that was still early in the night. 

When Pharrell invited Miley Cyrus onstage to sing “Happy” with him, the night’s many duets began. After Niall Horan sang a pair of tunes, manager Scooter Braun took the stage to introduce Ariana, calling her “one of the bravest people I know.” She sang “Be Alright” before handing the stage over to Little Mix, but she wasn’t done. 

Grande returned for “Better Days,” duetting with Victoria Monet. When Black Eyed Peas took the stage, Grande performed “Where Is The Love” with them. She then introduced Imogen Heap as her childhood idol and the pair joined forces for a tender “Hide and Seek”

And that was all before the children’s choir appeared, backing Grande on “My Everything.”

After Mac Miller’s guest turn on two songs with Ariana, she invited Cyrus back to the stage to cover Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

“Love conquers fear, and love conquers hate,” was Katy Perry’s message when it was her turn on the stage to perform a pair of hits, in her case “Roar” and “Part of Me.” “This love that you choose will give you strength. It's our greatest power,” she said.

Justin Bieber was next, and he was quick to invoke the love of a higher being, speaking of how “God loves you, and he’s here for you,” during his performances of “Love Yourself” and “Cold Water.”

Coldplay would soon appear to cover Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” with Grande, before launching into a handful of their own tracks, including the energetic “Viva La Vida.” Perfectly, it turned out that a member of Oasis was actually there to perform as well. Liam Gallagher made a surprise appearance, performing three songs, including his own “Wall of Glass” and Oasis’ “Live Forever.”

The emotional night got even more emotional when Ariana returned to close out the benefit, singing “One Las Time” along with the whole line-up. Ariana’s “One Last Time” has been re-released as a charity single, which also benefits the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. But no one could hold back tears when she used her singular voice to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the final song of the night.