ESC: Ariana Grande, Ponytails

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Ariana Grande is addressing claims that she is exploiting the LGBTQ community.

Since announcing she would be headlining the Pride Festival in Manchester, England, some fans have taken issue with the lack of representation and the hefty price tag for tickets. One Twitter user expressed, "ariana headlining pride when she's straight (as far as we're all aware) .... and doubling the price of tickets .... kinda smells like exploitation of the lgbt community to me."

The critic said they were not passing judgment on Ariana, but rather the organizers. However, the tweet, which has garnered over 61 thousand likes, drew the attention of the singer. "I have nothing to do with ticket pricing — manchester pride sets those rates, and they're mostly out of my control," the 25-year-old explains in a lengthy tweet.

In regards to the belief that she doesn't represent the LGBTQ community, Ariana says she understands their concerns, but she's not "claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq rights movement."

"I just wanna put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feel special and celebrated," Ariana shares. "that's all I wanna do."

She also points out the fact that "over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like Cher and Kylie Minogue."

Ariana adds, "I do think there's room for us to talk about these issues without equating a peformance for an lgbtq audience with exploitation of the lgbtq community."

Moreover, the star has a strong connection to both the LGBTQ community and Manchester and wants nothing more than to "celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me."

Ariana's ties to the Northern city were forged in the devastating Manchester Bombing in May 2017. At her Dangerous Woman concert in May 2017, a suicide bomber killed 22 people. She returned to the city months later for the One Love Manchester Benefit Concert, where she rallied popular musicians to perform for a good cause. 

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