Grande hits back after Pride backlash

Ariana Grande

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Ariana Grande is to play in Manchester for the first time since 2017 when she headlines Pride

Ariana Grande has responded to a backlash over her headlining Manchester Pride.

The US singer is to perform at the event, two years after 22 people died in a suicide attack after her show at the city’s arena.

Grande said she “wanted to chime in” after some expressed concerns about a straight artist topping the LGBT event.

She also responded to complaints about ticket price increases, saying they were “out of her control”.

In a Twitter response to a user who suggested the LGBT community was being exploited, Grande said she wanted to comment after seeing “many people” discussing the issue.

‘Excited and grateful’

The 25-year-old said she wanted to “celebrate” a community that had been “so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career…regardless of my identity or how people label me”.

“And also I wanna visit a city that means so much to me,” she added.

Grande said that Pride events have been headlined by artists “of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like Cher and Kylie Minogue”.

“If you truly feel like I didn’t deserve to be offered this spot, I respect that. but I did accept it excitedly and gratefully,” she said.

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The singer added that she was not claiming to be “the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement”.

“I just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported. That’s all I wanna do,” she added.

There were complaints among some Pride fans when ticket prices were raised to £71 for a weekend pass – up from £30 last year.

Others expressed concerns that Grande’s appearance would attract people who did not support the LGBT movement.

While others leapt to the star’s defence and said there was no need for her to respond to critics.

One fan said the price hike was due to a larger venue being used this year.

The Pride gig at Mayfield Depot is likely to be an emotional return to the city, two years after the Manchester Arena attack.

Less than two weeks after the bombing, she staged the star-studded One Love benefit concert at Old Trafford cricket stadium.

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PA

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Grande said Manchester “means so much” to her

The singer is currently at both number one and two in the UK singles chart and also has the number one album.

Manchester Pride Live takes place on the weekend of 24 to 26 August.

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