Jason Aldean Responds to Las Vegas Shooting With Moving Tom Petty Performance on 'SNL'

Less than a week after the shooting in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Festival, where he was forced to flee the stage because of gunfire, country singer Jason Aldean opened “Saturday Night Live” with a powerful statement and performance.

“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” he said. “Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting.”

On October 1 gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, injuring more than 500 people and killing at least 58, including special education teacher Sandy Casey. It is considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Aldean was visibly shook-up after the incident, sharing this emotional message on Instagram:

Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Fear, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we arent Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate! #stopthehate #prayforlasvegas

A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean) on

He decided to cancel his upcoming weekend’s shows in respect for the victims:

Continuing to address the victims and their loved ones, Aldean shared: “We hurt for you and we hurt with you. You can be sure we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it’s unbreakable.”

The country singer then shared a moving performance of “I Won’t Back Down” by legendary rocker Tom Petty, who passed away one day after the incident of cardiac arrest at the age of 66.

Aldean will resume his tour on Thursday, October 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Header photo via SNL on YouTube

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

Photo of Tom Petty

Tom Petty Dies at the Age of 66, Family Confirms

Legendary rocker Tom Petty died on Monday after suffering from cardiac arrest on Sunday night. His family took him off life support on Monday after he was found unconscious in his home in Malibu, California. He was 66 years old. “On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of [...]
People standing in line to donate blood in Las Vegas

You Can Help Victims of the Las Vegas Shooting By Donating Blood

If you feel hopeless today after waking up to news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, you are not alone. The shooting, which was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, has ended the lives of at least 50 people and injured another 400. Due to the large scale of the attack, hospitals across the state [...]

The Moment Between Mickey Mouse and One of His Biggest Fans is Truly Magical

Mickey Mouse bonds with a young, nonverbal boy using RPM or Rapid Prompting Method on his letterboard. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_Jg2dUmUC_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/Jg2dUmUC.json","ph":2} ); Read the full transcript: The moment between Mickey Mouse and one of his biggest fans is truly magical. Ryan Curry loves Mickey Mouse and was able to meet him at Epcot. Ryan is nonverbal [...]
Man wearing a leg brace.

15 Ridiculous Things Said to People Recovering From Injuries

I recently asked people in injury communities on Facebook about the most ridiculous things people have said to them during their recovery from a serious injury. Here’s what they shared. 1. “It’s been a week! Why are you still milking it?” 2. “Oh, I didn’t know that pain would be involved with the surgery.” 3. [...]