Ariana Grande made a surprise visit Friday evening (June 2) to young fans injured in the Manchester terror attack, which happened after her show at the Manchester Arena on May 22.
The singer made the unannounced visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital shortly after arriving in the city ahead of this Sunday’s star-studded benefit concert, set to be held in honor of those killed and injured in the terrorist attack.
After visiting the hospital, Grande posted a black and white picture on her official Instagram page showing her at the bedside of 10-year-old Jaden Farrell-Mann — who suffered fractures to both legs and shrapnel wounds — and who later tweeted, “I got to meet my queen today.”
The singer also spent time with 8-year-old Lily Harrison, whose father, Adam, says the visit had “done the world of good” in boosting his daughter’s recovery.
“She’s been in really high spirits ever since,” he told Billboard. “Lily’s hands were shaking and she was really giddy with excitement when the nurses said that she was coming, but Ariana was absolutely brilliant. She was very humble and knelt on the floor in front of Lily and was stroking her head and telling her how she’d been a really strong little girl and was proud of her.
“Lily had an Ariana Grande t-shirt on and we were joking and having a laugh with her that it was unofficial merchandise,” Harrison continued. “Lily was really shy at first, but Ariana was really nice and it was impossible not to like her.”
On Twitter, Harrison’s partner, who is also in hospital recovering from shrapnel wounds, described the visit as “just the lift all the kids (and parents) needed!! What an absolute angel.”
In addition to visiting injured fans, Grande also met the family of 29-year-old Martyn Hett, who was among 22 people killed in last month’s suicide bomb attack.
On Sunday (June 4), the singer will perform alongside Take That, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Niall Horan, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, The Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber in the One Love Manchester benefit concert, with all proceeds going to the emergency fund set up for survivors and victims’ families.
Tickets for the 50,000-capacity show sold out in less than 20 minutes, with organizers promising free entry for the 14,200 fans who attended Ariana Grande’s original Manchester Arena show. Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family) and ABC stations will air the show in the United States, and it will also be live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and on MTV’s digital platforms worldwide.