INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A southern Indiana high school wrecked by tornadoes won a free concert by country music stars Lady Antebellum on Tuesday thanks to a rival school that, along with students in other states, advocated on the battered school's behalf in an online contest.
Schools from as far away as northern Wisconsin submitted YouTube videos urging the Grammy-winning group to choose Henryville High School in the band's "Own the Night" contest offering the winning school a concert at its prom. Henryville's schools were heavily damaged when powerful tornadoes ripped through the region earlier this month, killing 13 people.
The winning video was entered by students at longtime sports rival Silver Creek High School in nearby Sellersburg, Ind. Henryville also got video support from a southern Illinois community hit by a fatal tornado in February.
"It meant a lot to us and made a lot of people cry. Knowing there's that many people out there that cared to give it to us instead of their own prom," said 17-year-old Henryville junior Daniele Kats.
She said word spread quickly on Facebook about Lady Antebellum's choosing her school for the concert, adding: "It's gonna be awesome."
Lady Antebellum said the band was touched by Henryville's "story, resilience and unity following devastating tornadoes." Because of a scheduling conflict, the trio won't be able to perform at Henryville's prom on April 27, so a concert will be held for juniors and seniors in nearby Louisville, Ky., on May 16, followed by a benefit for the community.
Lady Antebellum singer Charles Kelley said Henryville students shouldn't be disappointed that the band won't be able to visit their community.
"Trust me, we have something even bigger in store," Kelley said in the band's video announcing the win. Fellow singer Hillary Scott added: "See you soon, Henryville!"
The trio, rounded out by Dave Haywood, won best country album at this year's Grammy Awards for "Own the Night," and took home several Grammys last year, including record and song of the year for "Need You Now." Details about its Louisville concert will be released soon.