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I'm coming back to brave Manchester to raise funds for victims, vows Ariana

By Joe Nerssessian

Ariana Grande has vowed to return to Manchester to hold a benefit concert which will raise funds for the victims of the terror attack at her show in the city.

The US pop star said "we won't let hate win" as she called for people to come together following the bombing which killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

"My heart, prayers and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester attack and their loved ones," she said in a lengthy statement on Twitter.

"I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans, the same way they continue to uplift me," the singer added.

"I'll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honour of and to raise money for the victims and their families.

"I want to thank my fellow musicians and friends for reaching out to be a part of our expression of love for Manchester.

"I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed."

She posted a link to the Red Cross and the Manchester Evening News fundraising appeal, which has raised £5m since the attack.

"Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before," said Grande.

"We will not quit or operate in fear. We won't let this divide us. We won't let hate win."

She said her Dangerous Woman Tour, which has been suspended until June 7, was "intended to be a safe space for my fans".

"A place for them to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves. To meet their friends they've made online. To express themselves. This will not change that," she adds.

"We will continue in honour of the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy."

Last night the statement had been liked almost 400,000 times and retweeted more than 200,000 times.

It attracted praise from across the world, including from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who responded: "What a beautiful and healing letter. I echo everything you send and thank U."

The statement was the first major one from Grande since the attack after which she tweeted "broken from the bottom of my heart, I am so, so sorry. I don't have words."

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