Ariana Grande is one of the few faces on the new covers of Time magazine's "Next Generation Leaders" campaign. In her interview, the star spoke about her upcoming album, Sweetener, but also got candid about the Manchester attack, which took place at her concert in May 2017.
"I'm sorry. I'll do my best," the 24-year-old said after sobbing when the discussion turned to the devastating tragedy. "There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain. The processing part is going to take forever. I don’t want to give it that much power. Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won."
Grande argued that "music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world" and that's why the tragedy weighs so heavy on her heart. "I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful," she continued.
@arianagrande is happy, and it’s important to her that people know that. At 24, Grande is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and she’s coming out with new music two years after her last album, the blockbuster Dangerous Woman. Her latest single is called “No Tears Left to Cry,” a triumphant, ’90s-house-inflected pop confection, part breathy vocals and part spunky, spoken-word playfulness. She chose it carefully: “The intro is slow, and then it picks up,” she says. “And it’s about picking things up.” Grande made a song about resilience because she has had to be resilient, in ways that are difficult to imagine, after a terrorist detonated a bomb outside her May 22, 2017, concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people and leaving more than 500 injured. What happened is part of the song, but the song is not about what happened. Instead of being elegiac, it’s joyful and lush, and Grande is proud of it, and of herself. “When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy,” she says. “It poured out into the music.” In the video for the song, she’s upside-down, the way life used to feel. “We’ve messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again,” she says, “because I feel like I’m finally landing back on my feet now.” #ArianaGrande is one of three International covers showcasing the Next Generation Leaders. Read more about the rising activists, artists and athletes who are reshaping music, sports, fashion, politics and more on TIME.com. Photograph by @jimmymarble for TIME
Abel Tesfaye, 28, better known to the public as @theweeknd, has made a career out of hiding in plain sight. When he began releasing #music in 2010, he kept his persona intentionally vague, building buzz primarily via the Internet; fans grew to love him without knowing if he was a band or a solo singer. Now Tesfaye is a budding superstar, with a string of No. 1 hits (“The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Starboy”) and a new album, My Dear Melancholy, that tallied more than 25 million streams on @Spotify and @applemusic, respectively, during its first 24 hours of release—among the best digital debuts of all time. #TheWeeknd is one of three International covers showcasing the Next Generation Leaders. Read more about the rising activists, artists and athletes who are reshaping music, sports, fashion, politics and more on TIME.com. Photograph by @micaiahcarter for TIME
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