Just days after a terrorist attack killed at 22 people and injured 119 others at an Ariana Grande concert, the pop singer announced that she will return to Manchester, England, to spend time with her fans and play a benefit concert for those affected by the tragedy.
"We will not quit or operate in fear," Grande wrote in the letter that she posted to Twitter on May 26. "We won't let this divide us. We won't let hate win.
"I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans, the same way they continue to uplift me."
Grande suspended the remainder of her UK and Europe tour after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive just outside of the Manchester arena, as the crowd began filing out of the building after the show, notes Slate. A number of children and young people were killed and injured.
The people of Manchester have received praise for rallying in support of the victims. Taxi drivers turned off their meters to escort people to safety, and the hashtag #RoomForManchester trended on social media as locals offered lodging.
"The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you've shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday," Grande wrote. "You are the opposite."
Grande said that her team is still hammering out the details of the benefit, but she will provide updates as soon as everything is finalized.
"When you look into the audience at my shows, you see a beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd," she continued. "Thousands of people, incredibly different, all there for the same reason, music.
"Music is something that everyone on Earth can share. Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us."
Grande offered her thoughts and prayers to the victims, saying that she will think of them for the rest of her life, but acknowledged that there is "nothing" that can "take away the pain" or "make this better."
"However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way," wrote the 23-year-old "Dangerous Woman" singer. "The only thing we can do now is choose how we let this affect us and how we live our lives from here on out. ... We will continue in honor of the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy."
The former Disney star also thanked her fans for the "inspiring" way that they handled the tragedy and held each other up.
"Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before," she added.