James Corden Pays Tribute to Manchester After Ariana Grande Concert Attack
"The spirit of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening."
James Corden opened The Late Late Show on a somber note Monday night. In a special message taped after news of the terror attack at Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 and injured 59, Corden paid tribute to the spirit of the people of Manchester and the lives lost in the tragedy.
"While taping our show earlier tonight we heard the horrific news coming out of Manchester, England, that there had been an incident at Ariana Grande's concert," he said.
At the time of his taping, the Islamic State group had yet to claim responsibility for the suicide attack.
“It shocks me every time we hear this sort of news, that attacks like this can happen,” said Corden, who was raised in Buckinghamshire, which is around three hours south of Manchester. “But especially when there are so many children at this concert tonight.... Many of you will not have been in Manchester, but you will definitely have heard of it. It's famous all over the world for so many wonderful things — great football teams, Man City. Man United. It’s famous for incredible music: Oasis and Joy Division. It was the birthplace of the leader of the Suffragettes. It’s the home of the inventor of the first computer.”
His face devoid of the typical mirth that defines his show and his voice nearly cracking, the father of two continued, “It's a place full of comedy and curries and character. But when I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there — and I’m telling you, a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard-pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core. The spirit of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening."
Like many celebrities who were shocked by the news, Corden said his thoughts and prayers were with the people of Manchester last night, including the staff at Manchester Arena, the security and emergency services teams, as well as Grande and her team and the affected families.
"We’ll all go to bed holding out little ones even tighter this evening," he said.
Overnight, British Prime Minister Theresa May called the suicide blast "a callous terrorist attack," President Donald Trump condemned the attackers as "evil losers" and Queen Elizabeth described the tragedy as "an act of barbarity." Music stars and celebrities flooded social media to share their deepest sympathies to Grande, the people of Manchester and to concertgoers everywhere. Grande, who emerged safely from the venue, took to Twitter shortly after the attack to say she was "broken from the bottom of my heart."
Watch Corden's tribute below and follow the developing story here.
A version of this article originally appeared on Billboard.com.