Brad, Trace, Dierks React to News of Bin Laden's Death

"We got men who can storm the gates of hell and bring the devil back," says Trace.

Photography by: Hamid Mir/Editor Ausaf Newspaper for Daily Dawn/Landov

Like their fellow Americans, country stars share a mix of relief and pride that U.S. forces found and killed Osama bin Laden last week.

Trace Adkins, for one, was delighted at the news. “The only way I could be happier is if I could’ve killed him myself,” Trace told reporters backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House last night (May 3). Trace, like some, think bin Laden got an improper burial at sea. “I don’t think they should’ve dumped him in the ocean, either. I would’ve brought his head back to Washington, D.C., and stuck it on a pike in the front yard of the White House—that’s what I would’ve done with it. Left it there ’til it rotted. I ain’t bullsh--ting. That’s what I would’ve done."

Like many Americans, Trace had high praise for the American troops that located bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. “We had the means and the men and manpower and everything else we needed to get him whenever the opportunity presented itself," he said. "It just took this long for us to finally zero in on him and finally nail him down and find out where he was. As soon as they knew, the easy part was going in there to get him. We got men who can storm the gates of hell and bring the devil back, if they choose to.”

Dierks Bentley learned of President Obama’s speech via a friend who happens to work in the president’s office. “He said, ‘You should turn on the news, there’s a big announcement getting ready to happen.’ I put down the Xbox controller and picked up the remote.” Of bin Laden’s death, Dierks said, “It’s long overdue but couldn’t have come soon enough. I’m proud of the troops and all the sacrifices those families have made for [so] many years now. I feel great about that. It’s the best news in the world."

Brad Paisley expanded on the comment he made on Twitter Sunday evening, when he tweeted, "I love the moments when we feel like one united country." At the Opry House, Brad explained, “They’ve become rarer and rarer the more that information and blogging [becomes popular]. . . . It’s so lucrative to be negative. [When the news of bin Laden’s death came] you were having a hard time finding anyone who could say anything negative and it’s kinda nice to see that.”

Brad seemed to be one of many who had mixed feelings about the news. “It’s a bittersweet type of victory,” he said. “It took a long time, that’s bittersweet. It’s still a death, so you feel a little strange, but at the same time, if anyone in the history of humankind has deserved it, he did. He deserved what he got. Those Navy SEALS—every one of us wishes we could shake their hands, and we’ll never know who they are.

"Country musicians are beloved by a lot of these guys,” continued Brad, who played at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., where the team is located. “Having looked in the eyes of maybe one of the guys that went over there, because we played that base once, I’m realizing what they are capable of. I can’t be prouder. I hope it becomes a catalyst, maybe people become proud of this country for a little while. Things like that can jolt people into a groove of ‘Let’s look at the bright side and look at what we’re good at and take it from there.’ Maybe I’m being overly hopeful and naive."

Another outspoken country singer, Charlie Daniels, said, “I think it proves the tenacity of the United States. I see it as an overwhelming victory for the country, for the president, most of all for the troops and, more than anything, for the people of the United States of America to say, ‘Yes! We got it done.’ Thank God!”

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