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Olly Alexander defends Ariana Grande headlining Manchester Pride after backlash

Olly Alexander defends Ariana Grande headlining Manchester Pride after backlash

Olly and Ari | Photos: Polydor/Universal International

Years & Years singer Olly Alexander had defended Ariana Grande after backlash over her headlining this year’s Manchester Pride.

The Shine singer took to social media to defend Ari, whose latest single 7 Rings is currently number one around the world.

Some have taken issue with a straight, cisgendered performer topping this year’s Manchester Pride bill.

‘Ariana has shown more than most that she cares about us’

Sharing a note on Twitter, openly gay Olly said: ‘The last few years we’ve played many amazing Pride events, we’re lucky to get asked and I always donate my part of the fee.

‘I’d love to see more LGBTT+ headliners across all bills, the reality is line ups are a mix of artists depending on their availability and the need to sell tickets.’

He furthermore continued: ‘Pride’s [sic] normally raise money so they can put on their events and donate to various (usually local) causes. That being said I think most LGBT+ ppl will understand how problematic Pride can be.

‘Every year we get a couple of days (or.. a month?) and were meant to be grateful Starbucks have rainbow cups. I’m glad to see ppl demand change, the absence of people of color in these spaces is shamefully obvious.

‘In the case of Manchester Pride – Ariana has shown more than most that she cares about us and loves Manchester.’

He finally added: ‘Does that mean we shouldn’t try harder to celebrate all the amazing queer talent? No! But – can’t stress this enough – if more people listened to and supported LGBT+ artists – they’d get more slots.’

‘I wanna visit a city that means so much to me’

On 22 May 2017, Ariana’s Manchester concert was targeted by a terror attack; 23 people lost their lives, among them openly gay journalist Martyn Hett.

Ariana herself responded to criticism from a fan earlier this week. She said on Twitter: ‘I have nothing to do with ticket pricing’, adding ‘I wanna visit a city that means so much to me.’

She also said: ‘I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. […] LGBTQ representation is incredibly important, and I’m always proud to share the stage with LGBTQ artists!’

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