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Ariana Grande finally talks about the Manchester bombing: "It's still very painful"

Kevin Mazur/One Love Manchester/Getty Images for One Love ManchesterAriana Grande's reaction to the the terrorist bombing in Manchester, England that killed more than 20 people outside her concert last year was to stage an all-star benefit concert for the victims and their families.  Now, for the first time, she's sharing her feelings about the horrific incident, as part of a TIME magazine cover story.

“There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain," Ariana says, sobbing. "The processing part is going to take forever.” 

She doesn't really want to discuss the actual attack, she says, because she doesn't want to "give it that much power...something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity."

"That’s why I did my best to react the way I did," Ariana continues. "The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won.  Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world. I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.”

She goes on: “I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”

But that doesn't mean Ariana's let it negatively affect her music.  Her single, "No Tears Left to Cry," is joyful because, Ariana tells TIME, "when I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy.”

That's why, she explains, everything she's put out visually to go with the song has been upside-down.

“We’ve messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again,” she says, “because I feel like I’m finally landing back on my feet now.”

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