February 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Ariana Grande addresses criticism for headlining Manchester Pride
Ariana Grande, gay news, Washington Blade
Ariana Grande (Photo courtesy Republic)

Ariana Grande has responded to criticism that she is exploiting the LGBT community by headlining Manchester Pride.

Grande was recently unveiled as the headliner for Manchester Pride in Manchester, England which takes place on August 23-26. Some people questioned whether Grande was using the LGBT community to rake in ticket sales as the ticket sale prices increased after the announcement. Grande also being a straight artist performing at an LGBT event raised some eyebrows.

One person tweeted: “idk …. ariana headlining pride when she’s straight (as far as we’re all aware) …. and doubling the price of tickets …. kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me.”

The tweet received thousands of likes and retweets emphasizing that other people shared similar feelings about Grande headlining.

Grande addressed the criticism in a statement saying that she isn’t involved in ticket pricing. She also says she isn’t “claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq rights movement.”

“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. I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me,” Grande wrote.

She noted that straight artists such as Cher and Kylie Minogue have also headlined Pride events.

“I just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special and celebrated,” she concluded. “that’s all I wanna do.”

Grande has a significant connection to Manchester. In May 2017, a suicide bomber targeted Manchester Arena where she was performing a concert. 22 people were killed and more than 100 people were injured. Grande performed a benefit concert in honor of the victims a couple weeks later.

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