All-star benefit concert to aid Tucson victims

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 1:54 PM
All-star benefit concert to aid Tucson victims

TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Veteran rockers Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, David Crosby and Graham Nash led an all-star benefit concert in Tucson on Thursday night that paid tribute to victims of the shooting rampage there in January.

The show was organized by Browne and Cooper to raise money for a foundation to promote civility in the wake of the shooting, which left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including Democratic U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Other performers included blues stars Sam Cooke, Keb' Mo' and a host of local talent.

"The whole world's getting bigger, isn't it? Bigger in the heart," Keb' Mo' said on stage, tapping his chest with one hand. "It starts in Tucson."

On his website, Browne said the nonprofit foundation would support "individuals and families affected by the January 8th shooting in Tucson, and will promote civility and respect in public discourse, schools, and the community."

College dropout Jared Loughner, 22, is accused of opening fire with a semiautomatic pistol on Giffords and a crowd of bystanders attending a political event outside a grocery store on January 8.

The rampage sparked fresh debate in the United States about gun ownership and prompted soul searching over the vitriolic tenor of political debate, though no motive for the attack has been offered by investigators.

The Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding was launched by Ron Barber, a Giffords aide wounded in the shooting. Some proceeds will be used to combat bullying in schools and to pay for a public awareness program for mental illness, he said.

The five-hour concert was held at the Tucson Convention Center, which lies across a road from the federal courthouse where Loughner pleaded not guilty to an expanded, 49-count indictment on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Jerry Norton and Bob Tourtellotte)