Ariana Grande to become first honorary citizen of Manchester

US pop star helped raise nearly 3m when she returned to city 13 days after suicide bombing killed 22 people

Ariana Grande is to become the first honorary citizen of Manchester for helping to raise millions of pounds for victims of the Manchester Arena assault.

The US pop starring exemplified the resilient and compassionate way the city had responded to the terror inhumanity that claimed 22 lives and injured 220 others last month, council leaders said.

The accolade came as town hall officials announced plans for an event to recognise the great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit in the aftermath of the attack on 22 May.

Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, said: This seems a fitting moment to update the route we recognise those who stimulate noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city.

Weve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate style in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May, with love and heroism rather than hatred and fear.

Ariana Grande exemplified this response. I guess many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted, if the council approves the proposal, to make it official.

Ariana Grande helped to raise virtually 3m when she returned to Manchester to perform a star-studded benefit concert at Old Trafford cricket ground 13 days after the suicide bombing, which struck at the end of her Dangerous Woman concert at Manchester Arena 23 days ago.

The 23-year-old singer visited a number of injured children in hospital earlier this month. Her mom, Joan, who ushered concertgoers to safety backstage after the explosion in the arena vestibule, was watched strolling through the One Love Manchester mob telling young fans not to give in to fear at the benefit concert on Sunday 4 June.

The accolade is part of plans for a new system to recognise people from outside Manchester who have made an outstanding contribution to the city, a spokesman for Manchester city council said.

Honorary citizenship is the highest accolade a city can give apart from the rarely awarded freedom of the city, which has only been awarded four times since 2000.

The starrings granted the freedom of Manchester include the broadcaster Anthony H Wilson, the former England and Manchester United footballer Sir Bobby Charlton, the Manchester-based GB Cycling and Paracycling Teams, and the Nobel-Prize-winning University of Manchester profs Sir Andrei Geim and Sir Konstantin Novoselov, who first isolated the wonder material graphene.

A Manchester city council spokesman added: Civic leaders have believed for some time that there is a need for a new system of honors in addition to the rarely awarded freedom of the city, which will remain the highest honour the city can give, and the councils Be Proud awards which celebrate the commitment of individuals and groups who volunteer their time to help their communities.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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