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Madonna Stage Collapse in France Claims a Second Victim

July 17, 2009 9:03 AM ET

A 32-year-old British man has died after suffering injuries due to the collapse of a stage being constructed for a Madonna concert in Marseilles, France, CNN reports. As Rock Daily reported yesterday, a 53-year old French man also died when a crane collapsed at the Stade Velodrome. One American remains in critical condition. Two other victims required surgery and seven others were treated and released when the roof of the stage caved in as four cranes were raising it. The Marseilles concert, scheduled for Sunday, July 19th, was canceled.

Madonna was in Udine, Italy yesterday at the time of the accident, rehearsing for her last night's concert at Fruili Stadium. During the Udine show, Madonna paid tribute to both victims of the accident prior to performing a tearful rendition of "You Must Love Me," telling the audience, "Before I continue the show I want to take a moment to acknowledge and pay tribute to two people who lost their lives today. I don't know if you've heard. Two men building my show in Marseille where we're going next — the crane fell and we don't know why. I hate to be associated with suffering. I want to pay tribute to their families. Let's take a moment to appreciate our family, loved ones, friends around us." According to fansite AllAboutMadonna, the singer also said, "Let's give it up for the two Charlies" before performing "Ray of Light," alluding to the fallen crewmembers.

"My prayers go out to those who were injured and their families along with my deepest sympathy to all those affected by this heartbreaking news," Madonna said in a statement following the incident. Roughly 27 fire engines and 80 firefighters were called to the Stade Velodrome after the accident occurred at 5:15 p.m. local time. No word yet how this tragedy will affect other dates of Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Related Stories:
Madonna "Devastated" After Deadly Stage Collapse in France
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour Rolls Into New York With Reworked Hits, Virtual Britney
Madonna Kicks Off North American Tour With Top Hats, Double Dutch

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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