Cape Town – For young Ariana Grande fans her show at Manchester Arena on Monday night was something they had been looking forward to for ages.
Clutching onto pink balloons, that moments ago had dropped from the ceiling, and sporting Ariana's iconic cat ears the youngsters were enthusiastically making their way out of the stadium after watching their idol perform.
Dangerous Woman is Grande’s third concert tour and kicked off in Phoenix, Arizona on 3 February. The tour was due to end in Hong Kong in September this year.
But on Monday night, shortly after the 23-year-old singer left the stage, an explosion brought everything to a standstill.
With 22 fans confirmed dead and hundreds injured, a believed terrorist attack has turned a joyful concert experience into a night of horror.
Ariana Grande 'broken' after attack
“broken,” Ariana tweeted at 04:51 as hundreds of emergency vehicles surrounded the stadium where just moments ago she had entertained her young fans.
She added: “from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.(sic)”
Within minutes A-listers from across the world also shared their messages of love and support as news of the tragic incident spread.
A pre-teen queen who mostly avoids controversy
One of the biggest mysteries that still remain is why Grande’s concert was the target of the attack. The pop star is a favourite of pre-teens and is rarely known for causing a stir.
She mostly keeps out of political conversations and steers clear from activism, other than speaking out about her vegan diet as a way to reduce suffering for animals.
World tour suspended
The One Last Time singer was due to perform at the O2 Arena on 25 and 26 May in London, but has since cancelled all her performances until further notice.
Ariana was also booked to perform across various European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy, until 17 June.
(Photos: Getty Images)