The powerful way Ariana Grande’s new song alludes to Manchester terror attack

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Kayleigh Dray
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Ariana Grande promo music

Ariana Grande has released her first new track since the terrorist bombing that killed 22 people outside her Manchester Arena show in May 2017.

It has been just under 11 months since Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester was targeted by suicide bomber Salman Abedi in what has been dubbed “the most deadly attack in a decade”. 22 people were killed in the blast, including Abedi, and another 250 were taken to hospital with injuries.

Speaking earlier this year, Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, said the star had “cried for days” over the loss of life in Manchester.

“She felt everything - every face they announced, every name, she wore on her sleeve,” he said, according to the BBC.

“Every bit of emotion because that’s who she is.”

Now, though, Ariana Grande has returned with an uplifting new single, No Tears Left To Cry. In it, she beautifully alludes to the tragedy, while channelling the resilience and optimism of her One Love benefit concert, held just two weeks after the atrocity.

The lyrics of the chorus state: “Right now I’m in a state of mind, I wanna be in like all the time.

“Ain’t got no tears left to cry, so I’m pickin’ it up, I’m pickin’ up. I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up.”

They go on to state: “Oh I just want you to come with me, we’re on another mentality. Ain’t got no tears left to cry (so don’t cry), so I’m pickin’ it up, I’m pickin’ up. I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up.”

Later on in the song, Grande resolves to overcome fear and hatred “even when it’s raining down”.

“We’re way too fly to partake in all this hate,” she sings.

“We out here vibin’.”

And, at the end of the video, directed by Dave Meyers, a bee can be seen flying off screen – an allusion to the worker bee symbol of Manchester.

Grande’s half-brother Frankie James has since called the track a “brilliant masterpiece”.

The dancer and singer wrote on Twitter: “Ariana u make me so incredibly proud every single day and today is no exception. I’m so proud of the way u have brought people from all over the world together tonight with #notearslefttocry.

“Music was made to unite and with this brilliant masterpiece you have done just that. I love u.”

Elsewhere, The Blast, who attended a listening party for the track, said that many in attendance “openly wept at how she alludes to the bombing and how incredible the song is.”

“It addresses the incident in such a perfect, powerful way,” they added.

Following the attack at her concert, Grande admitted that she had been left “broken”.

After apologising to her fans on Twitter, the young singer cancelled upcoming concerts in London, Belgium, Poland and Germany, and returned to her hometown of Boca Raton in Florida to grieve.

However, she later returned for the incredible Manchester One Love concert on Sunday (4 June), which saw her and countless other artists pay tribute to the victims of the terror attack and raise money for their families.

“Before we go any further I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here today,” she said at the time.

“I love you so, so much. And I want to thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified. I love you guys so much and I think the kind of unity and love you’re displaying is the medicine that the world really needs right now.

“So I want to thank you for being just that – and I want to thank you for coming tonight.”

Grande added that she had met with the mother of one of the girls who was killed in the concert attack, saying: “I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia’s mum a few days ago.

“And as soon as I met her I started crying and I gave her a big hug, and she said that I should stop crying because Olivia wouldn’t have wanted me to cry.”

Admitting that meeting the woman had changed her plans for the show significantly, Grande went on to say: “She told me that Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits. So that means that we had a totally different show planned and we had a rehearsal yesterday where we needed to change everything!

“And this evening has been so light and so filled with love and bright energy and I want to thank you for that.”

Images: Ariana Grande

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.