Ariana Grande to receive honorary citizenship of Manchester

Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, Britain on June 4, 2017.
Ariana Grande performs during the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack at Emirates Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, Britain on June 4, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

US singer Ariana Grande is in line to be the first honorary citizen of Manchester, for organising the One Love Manchester concert in aid of victims of the bomb attack at her own May 22 concert.

Manchester City Council has proposed a new scheme to recognise those with outstanding contributions to the city with honorary citizenship. The scheme is open to those from outside Greater Manchester.

The hastily-organised "One Love Manchester" event on June 4, dedicated to the 22 people killed and 116 injured - many of them children - in the terror attack, was one of the biggest single gatherings of musical talent this year. Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a home-made bomb in the Manchester Arena's foyer at the end of Grande's May 22 concert.

On June 4, joining Grande at the charity concert were stars including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Liam Gallagher, as some 50,000 fans vowed to face down fears of terrorism. It raised nearly £3m (S$5.3 million) for the victims of the blast.

Grande, 23, in one heartfelt moment, was joined on stage by children from a local school, some of whom were at the targeted Manchester Arena concert, as the group performed her hit song My Everything.

On the same day, Grande also visited those i njured by the attack in the hospital.

Manchester Council leader Sir Richard Leese was quoted by BBC on Wednesday (June 14) as saying that many people would already consider Grande to be "an honorary Mancunian".

Grande's actions after the attack, he said, have "exemplified" the response of "love and courage rather than hatred and fear".

He also expressed his pride over the resilience and compassion of the city's residents.

The City Council also announced it would hold an event later this year to recognise the "great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit in the aftermath of the atrocity", BBC reported

The honorary citizenship is a proposed alternative to the city's highest and only system of honours: awarding individuals freedom of the city.

The freedom of the city has been awarded only four times this century, prompting divided opinions when a petition called for Grande to receive it, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The plans for honorary citizenship of Manchester will go before the council on July 12, BBC reported.