Jason Aldean Opens ‘SNL’ With Emotional Las Vegas Tribute & Tom Petty Performance

Jason Aldean opened “Saturday Night Live” with an emotional tribute to Las Vegas, just six days after he witnessed the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival that killed 58 people and injured nearly 500. 

“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” he said. “So many people are hurting. You can be sure that we are going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way.”

The tribute was a change of pace for the show, which typically gravitates toward a political and pun-filled monologue. 

Aldean followed his comments with a rendition of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” The song choice, of course, was also a tribute to Petty, who died Monday in Los Angeles at 66 after suffering cardiac arrest.

The country singer, 40, who was on stage performing when the gunfire erupted, cancelled his shows over the past week in order to recover from the tragedy. Earlier in the week he released a statement about the cancellations. 

“As a result of what happened in Las Vegas this week, we have decided to cancel this coming weekend’s shows. I feel like out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans, it is the right thing to do. It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends.”

It was a difficult week for both Aldean and his wife, Brittany. She shared her account of the events on her Instagram on Wednesday. 

READ: Jason Aldean’s Wife Recounts Where She Was During The Las Vegas Shooting

Aldean was among many of the stars who paid tribute to Las Vegas victims and Tom Petty over the past couple days. 

Watch Celine Dion’s share her thoughts and prayers for the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy. 

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