Justin Bieber moved thousands when he came close to tears and cried, and led a “Love” chant at Ariana Grande’s “One Love Manchester” benefit concert on Sunday.
The star-studded event at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground was a tribute to victims of the bombing at Grande’s Manchester concert on May 22 and recent London terrorist attack. The former left 22 dead and over 100 injured. The second killed 6 and injured others.
Some of the other performers also became emotional during their turns, but Justin’s heartfelt sharing was one of the most moving moments of the night.
The Canadian superstar’s two-song set followed Katy Perry’s rousing spot.
Bieber followed, bearing just his guitar and his voice.
Before singing his massive “Love Yourself” smash, the pop icon addressed the 60,000-strong Manchester crowd with words of gratitude.
“First of all,” the 23-year-old told the audience. “I just want to say thank you so much for having me here tonight.”
Justin continued, “What an amazing thing we’re doing tonight, would you not agree? Would you agree love always wins?”
He went on: “What a better way than to fight evil with evil, but to fight evil with good.”
With a sweet, self-deprecating smile, the superstar added, “It’s an honor for me to be here. And maybe I should just play some music, right?”
The (at times) euphoric audience sang along to every word of “Love Yourself.”
At the end of his “Love Yourself” performance, Bieber rallied the crowd in a powerful chant.
“I want a chant right now,” he enthused.
“Love always wins in the end,” the Biebs added, amid the chants of “love.”
He then sang “Cold Water,” one of his 2016 hits with Major Lazer.
It was after his rendition of his second track that Justin delivered a heart-wrenching prayer that evidently resonated with the audience and many online users watching via live streams.
A visibly emotional Bieber told the Manchester crowd, “I’m not going to let go of hope.”
He vowed, “I’m not going to let go of love. I’m not going to let go of God.”
Justin Bieber Fights Back Tears as He Pays Tribute Victims: ‘I Just Want to Honor Those Who Were Lost’ https://t.co/x6t6m6zq9n
— People Magazine (@people) June 4, 2017
The superstar then asked those gathered to raise their hands with him and demonstrate that they felt the same.
Justin urged, “Put your hand up if you’re not going to let go!”
“God is good in the midst of the darkness,” he said, before adding, “God is good in the midst of evil.”
Bieber encouraged the crowd.
“No matter what is happening in the world, God is in the midst, and he loves you, and he’s here for you.”
The pop prince shared, “I just want to take this time to honor the people that were lost or that were taken.”
“We love you so much. To the families, we love you so much,” Justin went on compassionately.
Raising his own arms, he added, “Put both hands up to honor those people right now.”
The Biebs wrapped his messages by asking the audience to join him in words to the victims of U.K.’s recent terror attacks.
“Everybody say, ‘We honor you, and ‘And we love you,'” he ended with, “Thank you so much for having me back.”
The crowd roared back, “We honor you, we love you,” while no doubt imaging those lost and taken by terrorism.
— billboard (@billboard) June 4, 2017
The “One Love Manchester” benefit concert kicked off with Marcus Mumford leading everyone in a moment of silence, then performed “Timshel” on solo acoustic guitar.
Take That romped through their set before introducing “brother” and former member Robbie Williams (wearing “Purpose Tour” merch), who debuted new song “Strong” and more.
Other performers included Pharrell, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Grande, who sang on multiple songs, some with her rapper boyfriend Mac Miller.
Little Mix, Victoria Monet, a Fergie-less Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap, and Katy Perry also performed.
Messages of support from various bands and also luminaries including U2’s Bono, Stevie Wonder, David Beckham, and Demi Lovato were also broadcast during the “One Love Manchester” tribute, brought pathos, and an even wider dimension to the show.
Coldplay and a surprise appearance from Manchester native Liam Gallagher, who sang three songs — including the Oasis classic “Live Forever” (which he dedicated to the victims) — preceded closing performances from Grande.
Most of the artists joined a tearful Ariana onstage to end the benefit show with “One Last Time.”
Crying at the end, the petite songstress declared, “Manchester, I love you with all my heart. I thank you, so, so much.”
Grande also thanked the audience “for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified” before going on to perform “Over The Rainbow.”
All concert proceeds are going to the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund” to help survivors and families affected by the terror attacks.
Justin Bieber’s moving prayer and Ariana Grande’s tears and grace throughout remain lingering profound memories — among more than a few — from a stunning and deeply meaningful event.
— Elvis Duran Show (@ElvisDuranShow) June 4, 2017
— BCNN1 (@bcnn1) June 5, 2017
[Featured Image By Kevin Mazur/Getty Images]