May 22 marked the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert. Now, in Elle‘s August issue, the newly engaged singer is opening up about how she felt in the aftermath of the tragedy, which killed 22 people and injured hundreds more.
“When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere,” she told the mag. “I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.”
That wasn’t going to stop her from returning to Manchester, though. Grande’s mother, Joan, who was at the concert during the attack, also spoke with Elle, recalling the moment her daughter came into her room after crying and barely speaking for two days. “It was two or three in the morning,” Joan shared. “She crawled into bed and said, ‘Mom, let’s be honest, I’m never not going to sing again. But I’m not going to sing again until I sing in Manchester first.'”
That’s how the idea for the One Love Manchester concert came about. Grande admitted to Elle that performing again was “terrifying,” but that she was inspired by her fans and their outpouring of love after the tragedy. “Why would I second-guess getting on a f*cking stage and being there for them? That city, and their response? That changed my life,” she told the mag.
“You hear about these things. You see it on the news, you tweet the hashtag. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. It makes you sad, you think about it for a little, and then people move on,” she said. “But experiencing something like that firsthand, you think of everything differently… Everything is different.”
Grande’s new album, Sweetener, is expected to drop on August 17.
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(photo via Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)