Ariana Grande told fans she was "overwhelmed" and "so nervous" as she was welcomed back to Manchester for the first time since the 2017 terror attack and subsequent benefit concert.
The crowd chanted her name during her set at Manchester Pride on Sunday.
Armed police patrolled outside the event, which came two years after a suicide bomber killed 22 people after her concert at Manchester Arena.
"Manchester holds a very special place in my heart," the superstar said.
She told the crowd: "I'm so happy to be with you, so thank you for having me. Sorry, I'm so nervous. I had so much more to say but I'm really very overwhelmed. So thank you."
The US singer began her 35-minute, nine-song set with No Tears Left To Cry, the first song she released after the bombing, and the night was at times emotional for both the singer and her fans.
Mason Thomas, 20, from Manchester, was at Manchester Arena the night of the attack, and said the Pride show contained "so many tears, so much happiness".
He said: "I think she was crying at the start during No Tears Left To Cry, which obviously is heartbreaking. But she's so strong. She was there for us. She was there for the LGBT community. She was there for Manchester.
"I don't know that there was one person who didn't have tears in their eyes. It means so much to the city and it means so much to the world to show what she did tonight and show that hate doesn't win."