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

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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.

Image via Creative Commons/tncountryfan

Originally published: October 8, 2017
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