Ariana Grande is set to become Manchester, England's first-ever honorary citizen, following what its city council has deemed a "great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit" in the aftermath of the May 22 terror attack at Manchester Arena.
Just 13 days after a suicide bomber killed 22 concertgoers — many of them young girls — outside of Grande's "Dangerous Woman" show, the singer returned to the city, where she hosted the "One Love" benefit concert. The event raised more than $3 million for the Red Cross. She also visited a number of injured children in the hospital earlier this month.
Manchester city council leader Sir Richard Leese told BBC News that the grace and benevolence with which Grande responded to the attack led the city to "update the way we recognize those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city."
"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 said. "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."
Honorary citizenship is the highest civilian honor that a city can offer any non-citizen, aside from the "freedom of the city" designation, which has been awarded only four times since 2000.
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