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Ariana Grande defends herself over Manchester Pride criticism

The 25-year-old singer is set to return to the UK city two years after the terror attack that claimed the lives of 22 people at her concert.

FILE: American singer Ariana Grande. Picture: @arianagrande/Instagram

LONDON - Ariana Grande has defended herself from backlash over her Manchester Pride headline show and insisted she just wants to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

The 25-year-old singer is set to return to the UK city two years after the terror attack that claimed the lives of 22 people at her concert, and she has opened up about the love she has for the LGBTQ community.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “The LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career. The relationships I have with my LGBTQ fans, friends, and family make me so so happy. I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. and also, I wanna visit a city that means so much to me. LGBTQ representation is incredibly important, and I’m always proud to share the stage with LGBTQ artists!

“Over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like Cher and Kylie Minogue. I do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance for an LGBTQ audience with an exploitation of the LGBTQ community. (sic)”

The No Tears Left To Cry hitmaker was announced this week as a performer at the top of the bill for the event, and while she respects people who don’t think she deserves the spot, she is determined to celebrate with the community rather than being a poster girl for the movement.

She added: “If you truly feel like I didn’t deserve to be offered this spot, I respect that. But I did accept it excitedly and gratefully. I’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement - I just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported. That’s all I wanna do.”

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