Diva-style funeral for Manchester attack victim Martyn Hett

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Popular social media figure Hett, 29, was among 22 people killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last month.

His death sparked a flood of condolence messages from around the world, including one from his heroine, singer Mariah Carey.

On Friday, hundreds of people — including some he had never met — gathered in his hometown of Stockport to say farewell to Hett at a funeral service highlighting his love of life.

Ahead of the event, his mother tweeted: “Thanks to everyone who stood by us through our nightmare. We will send Martyn on his eternal journey today. Total Diva exit. RIP son.”

Hett’s coffin, which arrived at Stockport Town Hall in a horse-drawn glass carriage, was covered in images from popular British soap opera Coronation Street. He regularly posted about his love for the show, and several of its stars were pictured arriving at the funeral.

Martyn Hett's coffin -- covered with Coronation Street images -- arrives for his funeral.

According to photographs posted on Twitter, the memorial featured the music of both Carey and Grande, as well as tributes to Hett and the other 21 victims of the Manchester attack.

Carey also sent a video message, played at the end of the service, in which she said: “I know that you’re shining down on us from heaven … that I played a small role in your life is a huge honor to me.”
His family had invited the public to attend his funeral, and the service was also broadcast on screens to those watching outside.
Hett’s brother Dan, whose tweets in the days following the loss of his brother included the deadpan: “I was a little dubious about Martyn’s recent bold social media move, but it worked” was anticipating a crowd:
Dan later posted a selfie showing his feet in bright red Converse sneakers below a somber suit with the caption “right. let’s do this #BeMoreMartyn.”
The hashtag, aimed at encouraging others to get out and enjoy life as Hett did, began trending on Twitter in the run-up to the service.
Hett gained international attention last year after a social media campaign to save his mother’s knitting career went viral and led to him being dubbed “Son of the Year” by Buzzfeed and the Today Show.

Following his death, Murray told CNN her son had touched many people’s lives.

“We get messages from all over the world and they often start with ‘you don’t know me, I’ve never met you or your son. However, I’ve been following him on social media, and he made me become more confident. He made me live life more fully,'” she said.

Murray was widely praised for saying she forgave her son’s killer, Salman Abedi. She told the BBC: “I don’t waste time thinking about him but I don’t hate him. I have forgiven him.”

CNN’s Eliza Mackintosh and Louise McLoughlin contributed to this report.



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