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    Sugarland's Manager: Last-Minute Prayer Circle Saved the Band From Stage Collapse

    Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Joey Foley/Getty Images

    Call it a twist of fate or luck.

    Whatever it was, members of Sugarland can thank stage manager Hellen Rollens for saving their lives by making a spur-of-the-moment decision to hold a prayer circle just before the stage collapsed last Saturday at the Indiana State Fair.

    Looks like God was listening. Here's what happened.

    MORE: Five Dead at Indiana State Fair Collapse at Sugarland Gig

    Sugarland's manager, Gail Gellman, credited Rollens with keeping the country pop duo from walking down the ramp at the last second, just as a 70 mph gust of wind from an approaching storm caused the stage to topple over onto the crowd, killing five fans and injuring dozens of others.

    "Everybody was standing in a prayer circle getting ready to go onstage, and [as Helle] was walking down the ramp, the stage fell. So her decision to hold them for literally a minute saved every band member and crew's life," Gellman told the Associated Press.

    She added that while others backstage felt it was fine for the band to begin their set, it was Rollens' instincts that made the difference between life and possible death.

    As their rig came crashing down, Sugarland and crew ducked for cover near a wall to avoid the crushing metal. Luckily, they walked away unscathed and regrouped a little later by their tour bus.

    "There was no running out anywhere. No one knew what happened. It was just the moment when your eyes get big," the manager added.

    While the severe weather demolished the set for their Incredible Machine tour, a shaken Sugarland has decided to soldier on with the trek.

    The pair canceled their Sunday performance at the Iowa State Fair, but according to Gellman they're "hoping and preparing" for their gig in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday.

    RELATED: Sugarland Makes Nice With Lost Member

    Following the tragedy, Sugarland tweeted fans letting them know they were "all right" and were "praying for our fans, and the people of Indianapolis."

    Soon after, the band's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush each posted a statement on their blog offering their deep condolences to the victims.

    "Our fans just came to see a show, and it ended in something terrible. My heart is totally broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives. It's broken for all the people who got hurt, for the people who were scared," wrote Bush. "I thank God for every person who lifted a truss, who pushed against that metal to get it off someone; for every person who used a chair as a stretcher. I thank God for every fan and emergency responder, for everyone who ran to the trouble instead of away from it. The courage of those men and women will forever be with me."

    In another statement released today, Sugarland revealed that it's in the process of "planning a private memorial in Indiana to honor those fans who died," one that will take place, however, after the families have had "time to go through their own services and memorial."

    The group noted that the show in Albuquerque will go on as scheduled.

    "This Incredible Machine is more than a tour and more than a set," the statement added. "We have always celebrated music as a Healer. While music cannot change the events and losses at the Indiana State Fair, it can hopefully serve as a ritual and a balm to provide comfort and facilitate healing in this time of great sorrow."

    PHOTOS: 2011 CMT MUSIC AWARDS

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