The Manchester City Council rarely doles out honorary citizenship, and its picks have previously been required to hail from the area. But Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit has inspired a change.
The city council is set to update its guidelines to include people from outside the Greater Manchester area in light of the pop star’s contributions in the wake of May’s terrorist attack. Members have been mulling the changes for a while, but the current moment feels especially fitting, one council member said in a statement.
“We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of 22 May ― with love and courage rather than hatred and fear,” said Sir Richard Leese, leader of the city council.
“Ariana Grande exemplified this response,” he added. “I think many people would already consider her an honorary Mancunian and we would be delighted, if the Council approves the proposal, to make it official.”
Manchester will also host an event later in the year “to recognize those who made significant contributions” in the aftermath of the attack.
The One Love Manchester concert, held in early June, attracted international attention, becoming the most-watched TV program in the U.K. so far this year. The effort, which included Justin Bieber, Coldplay and a number of others, raised nearly £3 million ($3.9 million) for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which provides funds for victims of the attack and their families.
Twenty-two people lost their lives at Grande’s Manchester concert, including several children.
If the new rules are approved, the pop star will become just the fifth person awarded with the city’s highest honor since 2000.