Billy Currington, country music star from Effingham County, and his band narrowly missed tragedy Saturday when a ferocious storm toppled the main stage at the Big Valley Country Music Jamboree in Alberta, Canada.
Currington and his band were performing and into their final number when the show’s producers ran onto the stage, waving their arms and shouting to shut everything down. Currington was reported to have said, “We’ll see you all later,” strumming one final note.
One of Currington’s band members was not as lucky as his arm was broken in the incident. Reports said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said there were unconfirmed reports that a tornado had touched down in the area. Rain and high winds pounded the area for over an hour, killing one and injuring up to 75 others. Twenty-one people were sent to an area hospital with at least two in critical condition.
The next act due on stage was actor Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West. Costner and his manager were briefly trapped underneath the stage but neither was hurt. Over 15,000 attended what is considered Canada’s largest country music festival.
Currington was raised in Rincon and auditioned at Opryland USA as a junior in high school but had to make it the hard way, playing in clubs in Georgia and Tennessee. His self-titled album with the hit single, “Walk A Little Straighter,” was released in 2003. In 2004 he appeared in a music video for his duet with Shania Twain on “Party for Two.”