Ariana Grande recognizes teen who died in Manchester: 'Olivia wouldn't want me to cry'

Ariana Grande made an emotional return to the stage at her One Love Manchester benefit concert today in the wake of the terrorist attack that struck her concert last month -- extolling the "love" that filled the arena and recognizing a teen who was killed in the bombing.

The singer, wearing a white sweatshirt with the words "One Love Manchester" written on the front, jeans and her signature pony tail, said she changed the tone of her concert after meeting with the mother of one of the victims, 15-year-old Olivia Campbell.

"I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia's mommy a few days ago. And as soon as I met her I started crying," Grande recalled.

The singer added that Campbell's mother told her to "stop crying because Olivia wouldn't want me to cry. Olivia would've wanted to hear the hits [today.] ...We had a totally different show planned. We changed everything."

"This evening has been filled with love...and bright energy," Grande added.

The singer opened her set with a performance of "Be Alright." Grande also performed her hit songs "Break Free," "My Everything" and "The Way" with help from her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller.

Grande also helped Victoria Monet perform her song, "Better Days," and helped the Black Eyed Peas sing their hit, "Where Is The Love?"

The singer, who at times got emotional during her performances, blew kisses at her fans who attended last month's ill-fated concert. They were in a special reserved section at the front of the T-shaped stage Sunday.

"I love you so so much. Thank you so much," she said inside Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford venue. "Tonight is all about love."

Scooter Braun, Grande's manager, introduced the singer by first thanking Manchester, the U.K. city's first responders, and the "world class artists who journeyed here on such short notice" to perform at the One Love Manchester benefit concert.

The benefit concert is being staged to raise funds for those affected by the May 22 bombing in the foyer of the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others.

Braun said immediately after the terror attack, Grande told him: "If we do nothing, I can't live with that. We must do something."

"This is so beautiful. You guys made a decision. You looked fear right in the face and said, 'No, we are Manchester and the world is watching,'" Braun continued.

Grande, 23, tweeted that she was "broken" in the immediate aftermath of the May 22 bombing that claimed the lives of 22 and wounded more than 100 at her Manchester, England, show.

However, in the days after the attack, she and Braun organized One Love Manchester -- which features artists including Coldplay, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry -- in order to give back to the community.

All proceeds from the show will go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was founded by the Manchester City Council in conjunction with the British Red Cross, to aid the victims of the attack and their families.

Donations will go to the British Red Cross and may not be tax deductible. Additional fees may also apply.

Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.
Related topics:
abc newsnational
Copyright © 2019 ABC News Internet Ventures.