Had she still been alive, Monroe would have been celebrating her 88th birthday, and Grande wanted to take the time to honor her spirit.
Grande posted a black and white photo of Marilyn blowing out a birthday candle and captioned it by saying: "happy birthday marilyn #misunderstood #beautiful #innocentrebel."
After viewing her posts, several fans posted negative comments about Grande encouraging young girls to admire someone who was as troubled as Monroe.
Nickelodeon's Sam and Cat star then responded to the backlash by posting an explanation on Twitter, that has since been deleted.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 1, 2014
"So much hate for celebrating Marilyn's spirit on her birthday," Grande wrote. "I adore her work and have compassion for her inner sadness that she covered up on a daily basis that a-----es like you made her feel in the first place!! Judging her for her wildly rumored personal life (which is truly no one else's business) is only a distraction from her talent, beauty, comedic genius and effervescent spirit..."
"We should only and always focus on the beautiful things... because what we focus on expands..... which is why I feel for the people who focus on hate... because that's all you have to give,' Grande continued. "And I truly do feel sorry for you because when you've been dead for 50 some odd years... nobody will be wishing you a happy birthday."
Image via Twitter