Ariana Grande Wanted Fans to ‘Feel Safe’ Before ‘Dangerous Woman’ Tour Launch
While we all eagerly await Ariana Grande's highly teased "thank u, next" video, the signer's new Dangerous Woman Diaries docu-series hit YouTube today to hold us over.
The four-part series chronicles Grande's 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour, which fans have been begging for professional footage from for months. It also takes fans behind the scenes of the early stages of her Sweetener era. You can watch episode 1 in full now, but to stream all four episodes now, fans must sign up for YouTube Premium.
It was during the European leg of the tour that a terrorist bombing killed 22 people after Ariana's show at the Manchester Arena on May 22nd, 2017. It's not a surprise the behind-the-scenes series touches on the tragic incident, primarily in the fourth and final episode.
There is no footage from that fateful night shown in the final episode, however Ariana shares a letter she wrote in February 2018, eight months to the day of the bombing:
I'm writing to you this February 22, 2018.
It's been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It's impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part. May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life.
Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I've ever known. Music — pop music, stan culture — is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe.
When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that … it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from.
The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated. To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment.
The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity. "Like a handprint on my heart" … I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.
After the tragedy the tour was suspended for two weeks. Ariana returned to the public eye for her all-star benefit concert in Manchester for the victims and their families.
However, it's a moment in the docu-series' second installment that really gave us chills. The episode documents the launch of the tour, months before the bombing. In a pre-show pep talk with crew and dancers, Ariana says something nobody could have guessed would take on a deeper meaning months later.
At about :30 seconds into the episode 2 preview (above), Ariana declares, "there's so much scary sh-t happening right now. So like, let's just make everybody feel safe... in being who they are tonight... Let's leave them with something magical."
Seeing the space Ari's heart and spirit were in at the start of this tour, and then thinking of the Manchester tragedy – It's no wonder she pulled away from the public eye for quite some time after the tour ended. Ari wanted people attending her show to have a temporary escape from the harsh realities of our world, only to have that safe space ripped away by an unexpected evil, and 22 lives lost after enjoying a night of music and fun.
If you have YouTube Premium you can watch all four episodes of the Dangerous Woman Diaries now. If not, you can watch episode 1 now and wait for the rest to be released in the coming weeks.