In 2017, Grande was performing in the city when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive that killed 22 people and left more than 100 others injured in the packed arena. The star herself was not harmed in the blast.
The “thank u, next” singer paid tribute to the city of Manchester on May 22 by adding a bee emoji over a black background to her Instagram Story. According to Billboard, the bee has become a local symbol of unity in the wake of the horrific attack.
Although she posted no additional information, Grande’s simple emoji message was a stark reminder of one of the darkest moments in both the star’s career and the city’s history.
“All my love Manchester, today and everyday... you are with me always, in my heart and in my mind. To ALL of you who have suffered and still suffer from tremendous loss, trauma or devastating injury.. I love you, I send you a warm hug, today and forever. #OneLove,” Grande’s mother, Joan, wrote on the two-year anniversary.
Despite keeping relatively quiet about the anniversary, Grande has previously announced plans to return to Manchester to headline the city’s pride festival.
Just one month after the initial attack, Grande returned to host the One Love Manchester benefit concert where she was joined by fellow stars such as Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Little Mix, the late Mac Miller, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, The Black Eyed Peas, Liam Gallagher and more. According to Entertainment Tonight, the event raised $23 million for the victims and their families through the Red Cross.