MANCHESTER, England — Ariana Grande returned to the Manchester stage two weeks after a suicide bombing killed 22 victims at her concert in the city, singing upbeat and motivational pop anthems as the audience cheered loudly for the singer.
Grande emerged onstage for the One Love Manchester concert Sunday, held at the city’s Old Trafford cricket ground. She appeared emotional as she performed “Be Alright” and “Break Free.” Before her performance, she and her dancers held hands in solidarity.
“Manchester, we’re gonna be all right,” she yelled. Confetti burst following the performance.
One of the most powerful moments of the concert was when the Parrs Wood High School Choir sang Grande’s “My Everything” with the singer. The 23-year-old singer held the young lead performer’s hand, both teary-eyed, as the rest of the singers joined in.
Katy Perry also left a mark with her resilient performance: She sang a stripped down version of her hit, “Part of You.” Backed by two singers and a guitarist, Perry delivered the song wearing all white, singing, “Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and your blows, but you’re not gonna break my soul.”
“I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult. Let no one take that away from you,” she said.
“We will not be silenced,” she yelled before singing the anthem, “Roar.”
Justin Bieber shared similar words onstage, even coming close to crying when he spoke about God and those who died at Grande’s show May 22.
“(God) loves you and he’s here for you. I wanna take this moment to honor the people that were lost, that were taken,” he said. “To the families, we love you so much. … Everybody say, ‘We honor you, and we love you.'”
Sunday’s concert will raise money for victims of the suicide bombing that struck at Grande’s show. Grande visited young fans injured in the attack at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Friday.
Grande performed throughout the show, even collaborating with others onstage. She sang Fergie’s verse on the Black Eyed Peas hit, “Where Is the Love?” along with the group; she performed a duet with Miley Cyrus; and she performed her debut song, “The Way,” with rapper Mac Miller.
Cyrus said she was “so honored to be at this incredible event” and performed “Happy” alongside Pharrell Williams, who also sang “Get Lucky.”
“I don’t feel or smell or hear or see any fear in this building. All we feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity,” Williams said.
British singer Marcus Mumford kicked off the show and held a moment of silence before performing. The leader of rock band Mumford & Sons then strummed his guitar and sang “Timshel,” which includes the lyrics: “But you are not alone in this, and you are not alone in this, as brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand.”
Take That, who are from Manchester, followed Mumford with fun energy that the crowd danced to.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this,” singer Gary Barlow said. “We want everyone to stand strong.”
Robbie Williams also performed, changing some of his lyrics of “Strong” to honor the Manchester victims.
“Manchester we’re strong … we’re still singing our song,” he sang with the audience of 60,000.
The Manchester concert comes the day after attackers targeted the heart of London, killing seven people. Authorities have said the attack started with a van plowing into pedestrians and then involved three men using large knives to attack people in bars and restaurants at a nearby market.