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Stagecoach: Rascal Flatts announces Osama Bin Laden's death; crowd cheers, chants

May 1, 2011 | 10:11 pm


Sunday night during Rascal Flatts' headlining slot at the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, band member Jay DeMarcus stepped up to the microphone on the Mane Stage to make an announcement to the 50,000 gathered: Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S forces in Pakistan. The announcement drew an immediate, broad cheer -- even though smart phones and text messages had already started to spread the word along the Empire Polo Field, where the annual festival is held.

Chants of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" immediately erupted.

"Let's have a hand for the U.S. military," De Marcus said, adding, "I hope I speak for everyone here  when I say 'Osama bin Laden, I hope you rest in pieces.' " The group quickly returned to keeping the show on track with patter about aiming to play as many of the group's hits as possible.

In another part of the grounds, singer Leon Russell made an announcement and dedicated "Amazing Grace" to our troops.

Among the crowd celebrating was Kenny Gordon, an Army sergeant on leave after a seven-month tour in Afghanistan: "It's a good thing," said Gordon. "He did a lot of damage to a lot of people. I'm going to be partying a lot harder than I would have, because we got him. I'm stoked."


Stagecoach: Vocal harmony from Secret Sisters, Rhonda Vincent, and Steel Magnolia

Stagecoach: Mel Tillis pleads to Ruby, 'Don't take your love to town'

Stagecoach: David Serby, Stealing Angels, the Cleverlys, Lukas Nelson bring twang to the desert

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Fans at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif. on May 1, 2011. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press