Ariana Grande’s public appearances and interviews have been limited since the Manchester terror attack that took place outside one of her shows in 2017 and killed 23 people.
Appearing on the cover of The Fader's summer issue, Ariana opened up about the much-need time she took to recover following the attack. She traveled back to her childhood home in Boca Raton, FL, and attended therapy sessions, which she says has “helped me deal with so much. I think it’s great for everybody. Especially in this regard. Therapy is the best. It really is.”
Despite taking time for herself, Ariana didn’t give up entirely: she continued her Dangerous Woman tour after a short suspension, and also organized and put on the One Love Manchester benefit show with co-headliners Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, and more. Ariana famously closed the show with a stunning and tear-filled rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” which she revealed was her grandfather’s favorite song. “He would always tell me to sing it in my concerts,” she said. “And I never did until that moment. When I was getting ready to do it, I was thinking about him and I felt his presence so heavily around me. He was the person I was closest to in my life.”
She also used her experience to help those in similar situations, spending time with the Parkland shooting survivors in Los Angeles and talking to them about recovering from tragedy, according to The Fader.
Ariana is undeniably strong and kindhearted for doing all of these things for others while undergoing her own emotional trauma. She told The Fader that she’ll never entirely recover from Manchester. "I guess I thought with time, and therapy, and writing, and pouring my heart out, and talking to my friends and family that it would be easier to talk about, but it's still so hard to find the words," she explained. "When you're so close to something so tragic and terrifying and opposite of what music concerts are supposed to be, it kind of leaves you without any ground beneath your feet."
Still, Ariana is optimistic for the future. Her single “No Tears Left to Cry” has been the subject of much praise, and she’s working with big names like Pharrell, Max Martin, and Nicki Minaj, who remains a close friend of hers.
Her next album, Sweetener, drops in August, and it looks like it’ll be filled with vulnerable lyrics and the delectable pop perfection Ariana has been supplying us with since the start of her career. She tells The Fader her experiences over the last couple of years, especially the Manchester attack, influenced her new sound. “I’ve always just been like a shiny, singing, 5-6-7-8, sexy-dance...sexy thing,” she said. “But now it’s like, ‘OK, issa bop—but issa message. Issa bop but also has chunks of my soul in it. Here you go. Also, I cried 10 hundred times in the session writing it for you. Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.’ There’s definitely some crying-on-the-dancefloor stuff on this one.”
I can’t wait to hear the new album, and I am proud of Ariana for the growth she has achieved and the growth she will continue to do.