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Rediff.com  » News » Tears, gumption & song at Old Trafford, Manchester

Tears, gumption & song at Old Trafford, Manchester

Last updated on: June 05, 2017 13:23 IST

Ariana Grande's Sunday Manchester benefit gig was bold. And triumphant.

She, and several of the world's top musicians, belted out an evening of song with the unstoppable message: Fight terrorism with music.

Armed policemen are seen as music fans leave the One Love Manchester concert in Manchester, Britain June 4, 2017. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

IMAGE: A young One Love Manchester concert-goer poses with a member of the Manchester police, Sunday. There was heavy police presence at the show, as well as a steel ring around the stadium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters.

Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester concert -- a stronger and more memorable reprisal of her tragic May 22 concert -- has proved no storm, no attack... nothing will ever stop people from coming together for music.

The pop diva's gig was a runaway success with an almost 50,000-strong crowd in attendance.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert Ariana Grande performs on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)

IMAGE: Ariana Grande once again captivated Manchester with her best hits. But her courage won her fans for life and even praise from her detractors. According to London Telegraph: "Fans shower Ariana with praise after moving, joyous night." Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

The 23-year-old pop star, who had to leave Manchester after the horrific attack at her earlier show, post a bomb attack, made sure that her return filled the entire city with joy and happiness once again.

A powerful message from Ariana Grande's manager Scooter Braun

IMAGE: A powerful message from Ariana Grande's manager Scooter Braun. Photograph: Kind Courtesy @ScooterBraun/Twitter.

The evening saw some of the biggest names in the music world performing alongside the Side to Side hitmaker at Old Trafford stadium to help raise funds for the victims of the attack that claimed the lives of 22 people, including children. The youngest vicitm was eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos. The attack also claimed two 14 year olds and two 15 year olds -- the funeral of one of the 14 year olds, Eilidh MacLeod is happening today, Monday, in the remote island of Barra, off the Scottish coast.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert (L) Chris Martin and Ariana Grande perform on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)

IMAGE: Coldplay front man Chris Martin and Ariana drum up some electricity on stage. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

The cricket ground was flooded with face paint, glitter, placards and Grande's bunny ears. It witnessed a sea of raised hands as Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford opened the gig with the song Timshel, saying "Let's not be afraid, Manchester."

Robbie Williams altered the chorus lyrics of his hit track Strong with the words, "Manchester we're strong, we're strong, we're strong. We're still singing our song, our song, our song," as the crowd hummed along.

A young girl, Lily Harrison, who was injured in last month's Manchester Arena attack, also attended the show to see her favourite pop star performing at the event, reported The Guardian.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert Robbie Williams performs on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)

IMAGE: Robbie Williams -- of Feel and Angels fame -- rewrote hit song Strong for Manchester. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

After Williams, former One Direction star Niall Horan took to the stage, leaving some fans in tears, as he dedicated This Town to victims of the suicide bombing. "Seeing you guys coming together was a sight to behold, we love you, we are with you, the whole world is watching," he told the crowd.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert Miley Cyrus performs on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)'

IMAGE: Ariana and Miley Cyrus performed Don't Dream It's Over as a duet, dancing and hugging as they sang. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

Singer-actress Miley Cyrus' performance was all about her friendship with Grande. She noted the Bang Bang hitmaker's strength as a role model.

Wearing a sweat shirt, graffiti-ed with the legend One Love Manchester, Grande showed up several times throughout the three-hour show alongside Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas and Little Mix to celebrate the fighting spirit of Manchester.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert Pharrell Williams performs on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)

IMAGE: Another high point of the evening was when Miley performed with Happy singer Pharrell Williams. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

She also talked about meeting Charlotte, the mother of one of the 15-year-old victims, Olivia Campbell, who died in the terrorist attack. "As soon as I met her I started crying and I gave her a big hug and she said I should stop crying because Olivia would have wanted me to stop crying," she said.

Towards the end, Grande got emotional as she sang a heartbreaking version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow to close out the evening.

The singer also gave the audience her hits Break Free, Side to Side, Be Alright and The Way with her boyfriend American rapper Mac Miller.

NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert Justin Bieber performs on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love  (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)

IMAGE: Justin Bieber, unlike in Mumbai, was at his best, singing Love Yourself, rousing the crowd to join in with a chorus of Loves. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

The concert also comes the day after attackers targeted the heart of London, killing 7 people.

There were suggestions that the concert might be cancelled but Grande and fellow performers apparently vowed that the latest London attack made the One Love Manchester concert even more important.

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