The star, 25, was offered the gong after she visited victims of the Manchester Arena bomb and organised a charity gig.
But a source said: “Ariana was flattered but said it was too soon.
“She explained she was still grieving. So were scores of families.
“She feared some affected might see it as insensitive. The committee wrote to her but she politely said no.”
Another source, close to the singer, added: “She was deeply moved and honoured. She didn’t decline it as such but explained it was not the right time to accept.”
Charlotte Hodgson, 38, of Bury — whose daughter Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, was among 22 killed in the May 2017 blast — hailed the star’s decision. Charlotte said: “It’s a lovely gesture.
She’s right — maybe it is a bit too soon. She’s lovely and would never do anything to hurt any of us.”
US star Ariana had just ended her show when suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, struck.
She set up the One Love Manchester gig two weeks later to raise cash for grieving families and visited wounded fans such as Lily Harrison, eight.
OBE for Novi ace
A DIPLOMAT who helped identify Novichok used in the Salisbury attack has been awarded an OBE.
Robert Fairweather worked at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons watchdog. He has been “taking some downtime” since leaving in July.
Sergei Skripal, 67, and daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned in March.
Ariana was made an honorary Manchester citizen and has a tattoo of a worker bee — a symbol of the city’s industrial past. She told how the ordeal left her with PTSD but said: “It’s hard to talk about because so many suffered severe, tremendous loss.”
The Honours Committee wanted to make her a Dame Commander of the British Empire — a gong that can be given to foreign nationals.
Stars who will accept New Year gongs include Monty Python’s Mich-ael Palin, 75 — made a Sir alongside cricket’s Alastair Cook, 34, and rugby’s Bill Beaumont, 66.
Others to have previously declined gongs include writer Roald Dahl and painter LS Lowry.
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