Ariana Grande responds to viral Manchester Pride backlash

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

Ariana Grande has defended herself against accusations that she is exploiting the LGBT+ community by agreeing to be a headline act at Manchester Pride 2019.

On Wednesday (February 27), the “7 Rings” singer responded to a viral tweet claiming that “Ariana headlining pride when she’s straight and doubling the price of tickets… kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me.”

After telling the nameless user “i saw many people discussing this so i wanted to chime in… hope that’s okay ,” Grande said she just wanted to “celebrate and support this community.”

The star wrote: “hi my love. i have nothing to do with ticket pricing—manchester pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control.”

“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!”

Ariana Grande highlights that straight singers often perform at Pride

Grande pointed out that she was following in a long line of straight musicians who have starred at Pride events.

“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,” she wrote.

“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.

“I’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement.”

— Ariana Grande

“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.”

Viral Twitter user responds to Ariana Grande

The original tweeter wrote back to Grande, thanking her for her response and added: “i completely get where you’re coming from.”

They explained: “my criticism was just that i believe pride should be used as an opportunity to give exposure to lgbt artists who may have faced hardship due to their sexualities, and if i was on twitter earlier i for sure would’ve had something to say about other straight artists headlining!”

US singer Ariana Grande, who will perform at Manchester Pride 2019, attends Billboard's 13th Annual Women In Music event at Pier 36 in New York City on December 6, 2018.

Ariana Grande has long been a supporter of LGBT+ rights. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty)

Grande’s poignant gig will come two years on from the May 2017 terror attack on a Grande concert in the city, which killed 23 people.

She will perform on Sunday, August 25. Tickets for the event are still on sale online.

A one-day pass for Manchester Pride festival costs £42.50.

Grande will be supported by pop group Bananarama and The Voice UK star Becky Hill.