MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (CBSMiami) — Less than 24 hours after the London attack, a benefit concert took place in Manchester for victims of the terrorist bombing at Ariana Grande’s show last month.
The pop singer, from Florida, led the star-studded line-up for Sunday’s show called ‘One Love Manchester’ that included Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams and Justin Bieber.
The British Red Cross raised more than $3 million during the three-hour show at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground where the benefit took place.
Ariana Grande’s pop music had a political undertone. The 50,000 singing fans refused to let their fears get the best of them.
Grande said the joyous atmosphere was intentional. The mother of bombing victim Olivia Campbell told her the 15-year-old would have wanted to hear Grande’s hits.
“We had a totally different show planned than we had in rehearsal yesterday. We had to change everything,” said Grande.
Pharrell and Miley Cyrus followed suit and to the delight of fans, Manchester native Robbie Williams changed the lyrics to his song “Strong.”
“Manchester we’re strong! We’re strong,” said Williams while performing.
That empowering note was echoed by Katy Perry.
“This is the part of me that you’re never ever gonna take away from me,” said Perry.
A screen behind the performers encouraged donations throughout the show.
Grande and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin covered Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” – the city’s unofficial anthem following the bombing.
“Don’t look back in anger, don’t look back in anger, I heard you say,” sang Martin during the show.
Oasis Founder Liam Gallagher, who was born in Manchester, later made a surprise appearance.
Perhaps the night’s most poignant moment belonged to a high school choir, whose members survived the bombing. Many in the crowd and Grande herself were brought to tears.
For the finale, Grande brought back all the performers. When she got choked up during her last song, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” her fans cheered her on to finish.
The benefit concert was Grande’s idea and it came together in about a week. Grande herself cancelled shows in London and Switzerland in order to perform on Sunday. She set aside about 14,000 tickets for her fans who had survived last month’s bombing.