Ariana Grande defended herself after critics said she shouldn’t headline Manchester Pride because she’s straight

Ariana Grande has defended her upcoming performance at the Manchester Pride festival after critics accused her of exploiting the LGBTQ community. The “Thank U, Next” singer received backlash from some who believe a straight artist should not be headlining the show. In a lengthy note posted to Twitter, the pop star chimed in to respond to all the criticism head-on.

"The LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career. The relationships I have with my LGBTQ fans, friends, and family make me so so happy," she wrote in a post on Twitter. "I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me."

She added that while she respects everyone’s concern, her intention isn’t to be “the hero” of the community nor “the face” of the LGBTQ rights movement. Instead, she just wants to “to put on a show that makes my LGBT fans feel special,” noting that other straight artists like Cher and Kylie Minogue have performed at Pride events in the past.

You can read Grande’s note in full below:

This performance will be Grande’s first visit to Manchester since the One Love charity concert two years ago, which was held following the devastating terrorist attack at her Manchester Arena show in 2017. The Manchester Pride Live concert is scheduled for August 25th, 2019.

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