How Ariana Grande persevered in the aftermath of the Manchester suicide bombing

When a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, I had no idea how the 24-year-old singer would react.

What can you even say in that situation?

But her response in the aftermath will forever mark her career as a singer.

To understand her response and her recovery, we first need to take a look at her as a singer.

Her career

Many people don’t know this, but Grande first earned herself the spotlight on the Nickelodeon TV show Victorious. She play a singer/actress name Cat Valentine, a character that was running parallel to her own life.

While acting on this show, she was building her music career. She made her first cameo on a record by singing on the Victorious soundtrack. That allowed her the platform to release her own single, “Put Your Hearts Up.”

The Victorious fanbase ate it up.

She soon moved onto another acting role, although short-lived, in a Victorious spinoff called Sam & Cat, where she played the same character named Cat.

As that show died out after 35 episodes, her new single, “The Way,” reached the top 10 in the United States and went triple platinum.

She was finally on her way as a singer.

Her response

Now that we know a little bit about Grande’s career, we can see hints of perseverance, a key for a successful singing career.

For example:

  • She was on a show that encouraged chasing victory.
  • After that show ended, she kept pursuing her acting career with the spinoff series.
  • And after the spinoff essentially failed, she turned to music.
  • Her first single has the lyrics, “If we give a little love, maybe we can change the world.”
  • Likewise, her response to the Manchester bombing fits in that narrative of never giving up.

Immediately after the tragedy, Grande and her camp were appropriately silent. Until late that night when Grande sent out one tweet.

“Broken,” she said. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so, so sorry. I don’t have words.”

Four days later, she tweeted an official statement, followed by a link to donate to The British Red Cross.

“There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better,” she said in the statement. “However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”

And she didn’t just say those words, she backed them up with actions.

She visited some of the 59 people injured from the bombing, bringing each patient — many of them children — “a sunflower and a teddy bear,” according to CNN.

After that, she took the idea of extending her “hand and heart” a step further. She organized a Manchester Benefit Concert called One Love Manchester, which raised $13 million for victims of the attack.

She got a bunch of famous artists and singers onboard for the June 4 concert. Among the many performers were Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher (of Oasis), Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Pharrell Williams.

At the concert, she gave the crowd a message that reiterated what she emphasized early on in her acting-singing career.

“I want to thank you so much for coming together and being strong,” she told the crowd of roughly 50,000 people. “I love you guys so much, and I think the kind of love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.”

After doing what she could to take care of the injured and their families, she had to do what every singer has to do — take care of herself.

Her recovery

One of the first things Grande’s people did was suspend the rest of her Dangerous Woman tour, which was set to hit several countries across Europe. She went home to Florida where she met up with her boyfriend Mac Miller and stayed with family.

This was smart, as the young singer just experienced a traumatic event. She needed rest.

As we’ve talked about before here at iSing, stress is a big factor in the condition of your voice (and your mental and emotional state). We know that “without moments of calm, rest and rejuvenation allowing the stress hormones to rebalance, that cause the body to become fatigued, run down and vulnerable to illness.”

Grande understood this. And that’s why rest was a key part of her recovery.

What singers can learn from Ariana Grande

We can learn many different things from the story of Ariana Grande and the Manchester bombing. But as a singer, there are three big things you can take away from this article:

  1. Persevere in your career
  2. Encourage others to do the same
  3. Take care of yourself so you can continue to sing

And good news — you can apply these three lessons regardless of your experience or career situation.

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Caleb J. Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He also blogs about music on his website: