Ariana Grande Responds to Manchester Pride Backlash: 'I Want to Celebrate & Support This Community'

Ariana Grande
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango by AT&T at Banc of California Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Since being announced as the headliner for this year’s Manchester Pride Festival, pop megastar Ariana Grande has been facing some backlash. Along with being criticized as a straight woman leading a lineup for an LGBTQ festival, the star also came under fire after ticket prices for the festival skyrocketed following her announcement.

Replying to a fan’s comment on Twitter, Grande addressed the controversy, aiming to clear up any misconceptions about her performance at the annual festival. For starters, the singer made clear that she was not responsible for the price hike. “I have nothing to do with ticket pricing,” she wrote. “Manchester Pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control.”

The "Thank U, Next" singer went on to say that she has a special connection with both the LGBTQ community and the city of Manchester and that she wanted to celebrate both of those relationships with her performance. “I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me,” she said. “And also I wanna visit a city that means so much to me.”

Grande added that she understood the importance of representation in the community, saying that she would be proud to perform alongside LGBTQ artists. “I do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an LGBTQ audience with exploitation of the LGBTQ community,” she said.

The star’s headlining performance at Manchester Pride will mark her first concert in Manchester since One Love Manchester, Grande’s charity benefit show in June 2017 supporting the victims and families of those killed in the bombing at Grande’s Manchester concert two weeks prior. She will be joined by fellow headliner Years & Years, along with Kim Petras, Bananarama and more.

Grande closed her statement saying that she understood if people were unhappy that she, a straight white artist, was chosen to headline a Pride event, but added that she simply wanted to celebrate her queer fans. “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,” she said.

Read Ariana Grande’s full statement regarding Manchester Pride below: