After her work in Manchester, Ariana Grande is due to be the first person to receive the honorary citizenship award. Since the May 22nd terror attack outside her concert, Grande has performed many “selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit” that qualify her for this new title proposed by the city counsel.
Currently, the highest civilian honor in the Manchester is the “freedom of the city”, but that has only been awarded four times since 2000. However, according to BBC News, The Manchester City Counsel is updating the system of honors to recognize contributions of non-citizens to the city.
“This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognize those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city,” city council leader Sir Richard Leese noted (via BBC News).
Leese also commented that many people already consider Grande to be “an honorary Manchurian”. More specifically he stated, “We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May – with love and courage rather than hatred and fear.” He went on further to say Ariana Grande had “exemplified this response”.
Ariana Grande is especially being recognized for her One Love Manchester concert, held at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground, on June 4th. The concert included major artists such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, The Black Eyed Peas, Niall Horan, Katy Perry, and Coldplay (to name a few) in addition to Grande, who stayed onstage for most of the show. The show was attended by over 50,000 fans, raised almost over £10 million for the victims and their families, and became the most watched British television program this year. Not just England was there for this concert, but over 100 million people tuned in to watch the benefit show, making it the biggest music event in history.
Not only was Grande able to celebrate the lives of the victims and bring happiness to Manchester, she was able to bring thousands of fans to tears, especially with her cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.
Grande is also being recognized for another act of kindness as she visited injured fans in the hospital prior to the One Love concert.
After the bombing, Grande also shared her love on social media in a heartfelt letter to anyone affected by the Manchester attacks.
In addition to the updated honors system, the Manchester City Council also announced an event that will be put on later this year to recognize the many selfless displays of community spirit post-attacks.
The official proposals for the honorary citizenship award will be presented to the Manchester City Council on July 12 (The Corporation).