Saturday Night Live/YouTube
Jason Aldean made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live on October 7, 2017 where he paid tribute to the victims of the devastating Las Vegas shooting that took place one week prior. Following a touching speech, Aldean performed Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” during the show’s cold open. The performance was Aldean’s first public appearance since the shooting that took place while he was singing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
In the days following the shooting, Aldean took to social media where he candidly shared the emotions that he had been dealing after witnessing the horrific event. He also issued a all for unity, saying, “We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE….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!”
“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone I’m struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal,” Aldean said on SNL. “So many people are hurting and they’re our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. They’re all part of our family.”
“I want to say to them, we hurt for you and we hurt with you,” he continued. “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.”
Aldean and his band then kicked off a cover of Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” an anthem of resilience and fortitude. Petty died the day after the Las Vegas shooting at the age of 66.
Watch Jason Aldean’s Saturday Night Live performance below.
Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!