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Katy Perry encouraged the citizens of Manchester to “choose love” instead of hate, “even when it’s difficult,” during her appearance at the the #OneLoveManchester benefit concert on Sunday, before encouraging the audience to touch the person next to them and say, “I love you.”
“Thank you for having me. I’m so honored and humbled to be here tonight to share and spread love,” proclaimed Perry on stage. “Thank you Ariana so much for your incredible courage and your strength, and for inviting me to participate this evening.”
“It’s not easy to always choose love, is it? Especially in moments like these, right?” she continued. “It can be the most difficult thing to do. But love conquers fear and love conquers hate. And this love that you choose will give you strength, and it’s our greatest power.”
Perry then asked the audience of Manchester to spread love by touching the person next to them and saying “I love you.”
“So now as you stand here, all of you here, and all of you watching from wherever you are, standing next to a stranger, or a family member, or a friend, or a loved one, let’s just do this little exercise of love,” she declared. “Just touch the next person, touch the person next to you. Make human contact. Tell them ‘I love you’, look in their eyes, say ‘I love you’. Do it. Everyone out there, everyone at home. I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult. Let no one take that away from you.”
The 32-year-old “Chained to the Rhythm” singer previously came under fire for her initial response to last month’s Manchester attack. In an interview on Elvis Duran’s radio show following the attack, Perry urged pop fans to “unite and love on each other.”
“No barriers, no borders, we all just need to co-exist,” the singer said.
During the charity concert — held to benefit the victims of last month’s Islamist terrorist attack in which 22 people died, including an eight-year-old child —Stevie Wonder also called those who attempt to associate terrorism with Islam liars.
“I don’t care what ethnicity you are, what religion you are. Love really is the way,” announced Wonder in a pre-taped segment that aired during the concert. “So anyone who tries to make anyone think that things of destruction has anything to do with God or Allah, they’re a liar. Yes, I stand with you Manchester.”
Ariana Grande, Little Mix, The Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Pharrell Williams, Robbie Williams, and Take That also made appearances at the concert.