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Manchester benefit concert to go on 'with greater purpose' after London attack

Singer Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles
Proceeds from the "One Love Manchester" concert will be donated to a fund set up to help the victims' families

Nearly two weeks after a deadly suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester, US star Ariana Grande is planning to press ahead with a star-studded charity gig later on Sunday despite a terror attack on the streets of London.

Grande tweeted "Praying for London" after Saturday's attack in which seven people were killed and 48 injured, while her manager Scooter Braun said the concert would go ahead "with greater purpose".

“After the events last night in London, and those in Manchester just two weeks ago, we feel a sense of responsibility to honor those lost, injured, and affected,” Braun tweeted.

“Today’s One Love Manchester benefit concert will not only continue, but will do so with greater purpose,” he added. “We must not be afraid, and in tribute to all those affected here and around the world, we will bring our voices together and sing loudly.”

Grande will perform for a sell-out crowd of 50,000, less than a fortnight after the blast at the Manchester Arena which killed 22 people -- a third of them children -- and injured 116 more.

She is being joined by some of pop's biggest names including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Usher, the Black Eyed Peas, Little Mix and One Direction's Niall Horan.

Braun said that "all artists involved have been unwavering in their support this morning and are determined to carry on with the show.”

The 35,000 tickets put up for sale on Thursday at £40 each ($51, 46 euros) sold out in minutes, with 14,200 free tickets set aside for those who attended Grande's May 22 concert.

Proceeds from the "One Love Manchester" concert will be donated to a fund set up to help the victims' families.

Grande surprised young fans who were injured in the bombing attack at her concert by visiting them in hospital on Friday. 

The 23-year-old pop star suspended her "Dangerous Woman" tour in the wake of the attack, canceling shows in London.

But the chanteuse vowed to return to Manchester, saying "I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans".

Police said that there would be additional security measures in place at for Sunday's concert, and attendees were asked not to bring bags.

"There will be additional security checks taking place and everyone will be searched, including bags. We would ask people not to bring bags if they can, as this will help speed up entry," Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said.

The concert at the Old Trafford cricket ground will be broadcast by the BBC and livestreamed across several online platforms including Twitter, Apple and YouTube.

MTV also announced it would livestream the concert to make it available in 180 countries, encouraging fans around the world to donate and send supportive messages over social media.

(Staff with AFP)

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