After a speech from her manager Scooter Braun — who called her "one of the bravest people I know" — Grande took the stage for a feel-good rendition of "Be Alright." Dressed in a "One Love Manchester" sweatshirt and accompanied by a crew of background dancers, she sang the uplifting lyrics "we’re gonna be all right" loud and proud.
From there, Grande transitioned straight into “Break Free,” poignantly singing, “I’m stronger than I’ve been before.” Pink confetti rained down at the very end, and she shouted to the crowd, “Manchester, we love you so much!”
After a quick, energetic set from Little Mix, Grande returned to the stage with Victoria Monet, and the two traded sweet verses about praying for peace on their duet “Better Days.” She then took on Fergie’s role in The Black Eyed Peas by joining the group for a beautiful version of “Where Is the Love?” Ultimately, the answer to that question was so clear: The love is in Manchester, thanks to Grande and Co.
Grande later returned with a school choir to perform an emotional rendition of “My Everything.” She looked every bit the beacon of strength, fighting back tears as she reached those sky-high notes and sweetly put her arm around the choir’s featured vocalist.
She then kicked things up a few notches by welcoming boyfriend Mac Miller to the stage for their 2013 hit “The Way,” as well as a funky version of his song “Dang!” The next guest to join Grande onstage was Miley Cyrus — the two recreated their backyard duet of “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” complete with plenty of hugs and goofy, endearing banter.
Grande then took a moment to address the massive crowd. “I want to thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified,” she said, adding that their unity is “the medicine that the world really needs right now.”
She then spoke about meeting the mother of one of the victims of the attack, 15-year-old Olivia Campbell. Olivia’s mother had told Grande that her daughter would’ve wanted to “hear the hits,” so, honoring that wish, Grande launched into her hit “Side to Side.” And after ceding the stage to Justin Bieber, she returned with yet another hit, “Love Me Harder.” Once again, the love in Manchester was as strong as ever.
Later in the show, Grande took the stage alongside all of the evening’s performers for “One Last Time,” the song that’s become a rallying cry of sorts for her fans in the wake of the terrorist attack.
For the concert’s emotional finale, Grande walked to the front of the stage and belted “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” accompanied by only a keyboardist. With the stage bathed in pink lights, she sang the song’s final verse a second time with incredible poise as she fought back tears. She told the crowd, “Thank you, I love you so much,” and took off, leaving a trail of love, hope, and strength behind her.