“You try not to give in to fear. You want to keep going. You want to not be afraid.”
In a new interview, singer Ariana Grande described how “everything” changed after the 2017 bombing attack on her concert at Manchester Arena in England.
Ebro Darden of Beats 1 radio addressed speculation that “Get Well Soon,” a song on her new album Sweetener, had to do with the aftermath of the Manchester attack.
“You have really been working through recovering from what took place in Manchester with your fans, with your family, with yourself,” Darden said. “Was that song important to put out some of that energy and let people know that we’re all working to get well?”
In her emotional response, Grande said the song was about that and more. “[The song is about] just being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety,” she said. “We just have to be there for each other as much as we can because you never fucking know.”
She continued, “It’s also about personal demons and anxiety, more intimate tragedies as well. Mental health is so important. People don’t pay enough mind to it… People don’t pay attention to what’s happening inside.”
At the time, NBC News reported that 22 people were killed and about 59 were wounded.
“You try not to give in to fear,” Grande said. “That was the point of finishing my tour, to set an example for my fans, who were fearless enough to show up to the shows. You want to keep going. You want to not be afraid.”
Less than a month after the attack, Grande returned to Manchester for the One Love Manchester benefit concert, which featured Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Coldplay. The pop star performed in front of 55,000 people that night.
Grande, who previously addressed the emotional scar that the attack left on her in a Vogue interview, told Darden that in the aftermath of Manchester, she can’t help but fear for her safety.
“You don’t want to give in, you don’t want to be afraid, but it’s still there,” she said. “It changes everything, changes your life quite a bit. You want to be more present and follow happy impulses and figure it out later and stay in the moment.”
In a June interview with Vogue, Grande said the attack left her with a crippling amount of anxiety. “I think a lot of people have anxiety, especially right now. My anxiety has anxiety,” she said. “I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.”