Ariana Grande will be the first person named as an honorary citizen of Manchester following the singer’s “great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit” in the aftermath of the city’s May 22nd terror attack.
“This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognize those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city,” Manchester city council leader Sir Richard Leese said (via BBC News).
“We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May, with love and courage rather than hatred and fear,” he added. “Ariana Grande exemplified this response. I think many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted, if the council approves the proposal, to make it official.”
Thirteen days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people outside of Grande’s Manchester Arena concert on May 22nd, the singer returned to the city to stage the One Love Manchester concert, which raised millions of dollars for the victims of the terror attack. Grande also visited injured fans in the hospital prior to the benefit concert.
Grande’s honorary citizenship is part of a larger plan by the city council to update their system in which non-citizens are honored for their contributions to Manchester. The highest civilian honor will remain the “freedom of the city,” which has only been awarded four times since 2000.