Music Notes

Jason Aldean Pays Tribute To Las Vegas Shooting Victims With A Tom Petty Classic

"Our bond and our spirit are unbreakable."

Less than a week after a mass shooting killed dozens at his outdoor concert in Las Vegas, country singer Jason Aldean appeared on Saturday Night Live to deliver a cold open for the show.

"I'm Jason Aldean," he began, "This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. 

"Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night, how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and they are all part of our family. 

"So I want to say to them, we hurt for you, and we hurt with you. You can be sure that we are 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 are unbreakable." 

From there, Aldean and his band began their tribute to the 58 victims of the shooting while also making a nod to a rock 'n' roll legend. Tom Petty, who died early last week and just a day after the Vegas shooting, didn't have to be mentioned by name, as Aldean and crew started playing Petty's familiar track, "I Won't Back Down." 

The tune, which appears on Petty's 1989 solo debut, Full Moon Fever, has long been a favorite of political candidates, but seemed a fitting choice as the country continues to heal from what's being labeled the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Watch Aldean's resilient performance in the clip below:

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