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Pop star Ariana Grande plans Manchester show to benefit bombing victims

The 23-year-old US singer said the response to violence 'must be to come closer together'
Ariana Grande performs onstage during at Allstate Arena on 14 December 2016 in Rosemont, Illinois (AFP)

US pop star Ariana Grande announced on Tuesday she would return to Manchester to headline a star-studded benefit concert for the victims of the deadly attack on her show last week.

Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher and Take That will join her for Sunday's concert in memory of the 22 people who died, seven of them children.

In her first substantive comments since the attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, Grande hailed the compassionate spirit of her fans and vowed not to give in to divisions.

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The 23-year-old, who suspended her tour and returned to her Florida home after the tragedy, said she planned a concert as "an expression of love for Manchester."

She said that the concert would raise money for the victims of the attack and their families. The date is not yet set.

"Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before," she said in an essay posted on her social media accounts.

Grande, whose fan base is dominated by girls and young women, said she had seen a "beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd."

She said that she saw her concerts as a place for her fans "to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves."

"This will not change," she said.

Grande plans to resume her "Dangerous Woman" tour in Paris on 7 June. Despite the name of her tour and album, the former television child star has rarely triggered controversy.

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