We reported that Ariana Grande is treating fans to an intimate look at her life.
Part of this welcome new content is fairly sobering.
In a heartfelt letter to her fans, Ariana reflects upon the horrific tragedy of the Manchester bombing.
"I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018," Ariana’s letter begins.
For context, she writes: "It’s been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena."
"It’s impossible to know where to start," Ariana confesses. "Or to know what to say about this part."
Too many have survived terrorist attacks, from bombings to mass shootings. All find it difficult to discuss.
"May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life," she writes.
Even with therapy, trauma can linger for years and decades.
"Music is an escape," Ariana affirms. "Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known."
She’s not just praising creators, but also fans who consume the music.
"Music — pop music, stan culture — is something that brings people together," Ariana writes.
Stans are essentially superfans. Stan culture is the unfettered adoration of stars who deserve it — and Ariana certainly does.
Ariana writes that pop and stan culture "introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves."
"It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression," Ariana lists. "It is happiness."
On the subject of music, Ariana writes: "It is the last thing that would ever harm someone."
"It is safe," she again affirms.
Which is part of why the loss of innocent life because of the Manchester bombing was even more horrific.
It targeted people — many of whom were minors — who were enjoying music.
"When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that," Ariana begins.
She continues: "it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from."
"The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy," Ariana states.
She continues: "and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives."
"Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated," Ariana gushes.
That is so powerful.
She continues to say that the love and support of fans encouraged them all "to continue during the scariest and saddest of times."
"To not let hate win," she writes.
"But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment," Ariana writes.
This is so sweet and so heartfelt.
"The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity," she continues.
Ariana then says: "‘Like a handprint on my heart’ …"
That is, of course, a quoted lyric from "For Good" from Wicked, the best musical of all time.
The reference is very appropriate for this context.
"I think of Manchester constantly," Ariana concludes. "And will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life."
Ariana is absolutely amazing.
When she’s not giving fans life with a star-studded "Thank U, Next" teaser, she’s moving them to tears with sincerity and compassion.
This is why Ariana stans are so numerous.
It doesn’t hurt that her music is out of this world.
In fact, she just made Spotify history (for the upteenth time this month), this time with the most monthly listeners of any female artist.
That figure? 46.9 million.
It’s barely a taste of the recognition that she deserves.