Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun has told Music Week of his pride at the singer’s “stunning" and "courageous” One Love Manchester performance.
Braun organised Sunday’s 50,000-capacity benefit concert - held in honour of those affected by the Manchester attack - in little over a week, alongside Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn and SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran.
Asked his thoughts on Grande’s set, Braun said: “Unbelievable, just absolutely stunning. Courageous, bold and full of passion.”
The star-studded show, which took place at Emirates Old Trafford, also featured the likes of Take That, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Robbie Williams, Little Mix, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and a surprise appearance from former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. All artists performed for free and Live Nation has underwritten the cost of the event.
“Everyone stepped up and it was just beautiful to watch,” said Braun.
Grande appeared several times throughout, also joining the Parrs Wood High School Choir on stage for an emotional take on My Everything. The entire cast of One Love Manchester accompanied the 23-year-old for penultimate track One Last Time, which is No.2 in the midweek UK singles chart after being re-released in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, before Grande closed the show with a solo rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
“From the way she started it to the way she ended it, to have a night like that, with the energy that we had, and to perform the way that she did… I’ve never been prouder,” added Braun.
Braun, who also represents Justin Bieber and Martin Garrix, paid a glowing tribute to Manchester for the reaction of its community to the May 22 tragedy. “The biggest star of [One Love Manchester] was Manchester,” he said. “I'm forever grateful to that city.”
The concert was broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC World Service and BBC Radio Manchester, and Global Radio, and was the most watched TV event of the year so far, drawing an average UK TV audience of 10.9 million viewers. It was also streamed live online on YouTube and broadcast on television to over 50 countries across five continents. Read Music Week's review of the night here.
More than £10 million has been raised for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund so far – with £2 million alone being raised during the three-hour show through text and online donations.
The event took on even greater poignancy, coming less than 24 hours after the London Bridge terror attack. In a statement, Braun declared the show would “not only continue, but will do so with greater purpose”.