As you will see in the video that we’ve included, the spectacularÂ Ariana Grande put on a gorgeous performance at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
It was a bittersweet performance, just two days before the 1-year anniversary of the Manchester Arena Bombing.
“No Tears Left To Cry” is Ariana’s first single since last year’s devastating terrorist attack with an explosive device.
Ultimately, 22 lives were lost to the terrorist’s bomb. And over 500 innocents were injured.
Even those who evaded physical harm, who fled or were ushered out — Ariana’s own mother, Joan Grande, reportedly urged dozens of audience-goers to come with her to safety in case there were multiple devices — were victims of the device.
And so were the families and loved ones of those who died. Terrorism exacts an appalling toll.
This kind of deadly tragedy transforms lives for the worst.
But Ariana has been outspoken and adamant that she not allow that kind of creeping evil to snuff out joy or hope, and she will continue to tour.
Ariana’s performance itself, as you can see for yourself in the video that we have included, was a tasteful blend of optimism and art with somber reminders of the May 22 bombing.
At one point, she is lifted up into the air by a rising pillar, but her skillful backup dancers use their umbrella props to give the appearance that she is resting solely on their umbrellas.
(We haven’t enjoyed a performance featuring umbrellas this much since Tom Holland’s lip sync performance in 2017; well done, Ariana)
The bee, which is the symbol of Manchester, even makes an appearance during the show.
Ariana really knows how to illustrate how to move forward even as you grieve.
Ariana seemed to dedicate a lot of time in 2017 to self-care. She was also in a relationship that year, but Ariana and Mac Miller are over.
Very appropriate, under the circumstances. She had to recover, just like everyone else. Perhaps more so, as she may have felt a misplaced sense of guilt.
In contrast, she was something of a social media ghost during the first few months of 2018.
Then, Ariana began to tweet with upside-down letters, hinting that new music would soon be coming.
That music came in the form of “No Tears Left To Cry,” a beautiful and powerful stand-alone single that continues to receive acclaim.
(We should note that, technically, it’s only a stand-alone single for now — it may be part of an EP or a full length album later down the road)
Ariana was a natural choice to begin the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
Janet Jackson won the ICON Award and generally owned at the awards show.
It’s what she deserves.
Ed Sheeran won Top Artist. … Okay.
Top New Arist went to Khalid.
TheÂ Billboard Chart Achievement Award went to CamilaÂ Cabello.
Top Male Artist went to Ed Sheeran.
Top Female Artist went to Taylor Swift, which makes sense — she had the best-selling album of 2017.
Top Duo/Group went to Imagine Dragons.
Top Billboard 200 Artist went to Drake.
Top Hot 100 Artist went to Ed Sheeran. These awards are based upon streaming and sales, so don’t blame Billboard that his name keeps popping up.
Top Social Artist went to BTS.
Top R&B Artist went to Bruno Mars.
Top Rap Artist went to Kendrick Lamar.
Top Country Artist went to Chris Stapleton.
Top Rock Artist went to Imagine Dragons, so Sheeran wasn’t the only name that kept cropping up.
Top Billboard 200 Album was Damn by Kendrick Lamar.
As we mentioned, theÂ Top Selling Album was Reputation by Taylor Swift.
The Top Hot 100 Song was “Despacito” byÂ Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber.
“Despacito” was also the top selling song. That makes sense — it was arguably 2017’s “song of the summer.”