Music News: Solidarity and sorrow after Manchester concert attack


A vigil in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017
A vigil in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017 (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

On Monday night, the world was shocked and saddened to learn of a deadly terrorist attack on a crowd leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. The suicide blast took the lives of 22, including bombing suspect Salman Abedi. Descriptions of the scene were horrifying. "It was meant to be a dream, not a nightmare," said one woman who took her 14-year-old daughter to the show. "There were children, blood, shoes, splattered all over the floor." (New York Times)

As authorities sought criminal collaborators, Prime Minister Theresa May subsequently raised the United Kingdom's terrorist threat level to "critical," indicating that another attack could be imminent. (New York Times) World leaders decried the violence, with U.S. President Donald Trump calling the perpetrators "evil losers." (Rolling Stone)

Grande and others associated with the show — including the singer's management company, her record label, her opening acts, and the Manchester Arena operator — quickly expressed sorrow and solidarity. The remainder of Grande's international Dangerous Woman Tour was suspended. (Rolling Stone)

Music fans were instantly reminded of other recent terrorist attacks at music venues — including the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida last year, and the shooting at Le Bataclan in Paris in 2015. Artists around the world expressed sorrow and support, often via social media. Manchester music legend Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order) revealed that his own daughter was attending the show. (Rolling Stone)

Deeply saddened today. Our hearts go out to all those in #Manchester. Love from #MPLS. #Love4OneAnother

A post shared by Paisley Park (@officialpaisleypark) on

Many circulated a fan-generated image of Grande's trademark bunny ears on a black ribbon, a symbol that some found to be poignantly appropriate but others saw as tasteless.

James Corden, the Britain-born TV personality and Grammys host, opened his Monday night episode with a heartfelt tribute to the "strong, proud, caring people" of Manchester — a city known for a rich musical heritage that's produced bands including the Smiths and Oasis. (Rolling Stone)

On Tuesday night, thousands gathered in Manchester for a vigil. "We must all stand together and not let the terrorists defeat us," police chief Ian Hawkins told the crowd. "Not let them stop us going about our daily business and create fear and we must all live in harmony with each other." (Billboard)

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