Ariana Grande has reportedly pulled out of a surprise BRIT Awards tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.
According to Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper, 24-year-old Ariana, whose concert in the English city was targeted by a suicide bomber in May, was set to lead an emotional performance at Wednesday’s ceremony, but her team notified organisers she could not take part the day before the event.
An insider told the publication that her last-minute drop out plunged plans for a tribute into chaos, but that Manchester-born Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher had agreed to step in.
“It was utter chaos when the call came in that Ariana couldn’t do it,” the source said. “Liam has saved the day by stepping in at the last minute. It’s a perfect choice. It’s going to be the moment of the evening.”
Representatives for the BRIT Awards, which will be held at London’s O2 Arena, declined to comment.
The tribute to the 22 people who lost their lives and the more than 500 who were injured in the terror attack is reportedly set to be the centrepiece of the awards bash.
“It will be the biggest talking point of the night,” an insider told them. “The whole industry wants to come together to pay their respects to the victims. The effects of that terrible night resonated far and wide in the music industry and it’s only right everyone comes together to pay their respects.”
Less than a month after the tragic attack on her gig, Ariana returned to the city for a huge charity concert to raise funds for the victims and their families.
The One Love Manchester concert at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground featured performances from acts including Liam, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Chris Martin and Miley Cyrus. The concert and other charitable efforts raised more than $13 million for a victims’ fund.