While the most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live,” less than one week after the deadly Las Vegas shooting, was full of the heated political rhetoric, country music star Jason Aldean made a powerful and unifying appearance to open the show. He spoke candidly about the horrific shooting that took place while he was on stage last week at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“People are hurting,” he said directly into the camera. “They’re our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. They’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them, we hurt for you, and we hurt with you. But you can be sure that we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way. Because when American is at its best, our bond, and our spirit, it’s unbreakable.”
Aldean closed his monologue by leading into a powerful cover of an icon song written by another soul lost this week: Tom Petty’s, “I Won’t Back Down.”
Jason Aldean opens SNL with brief monologue on Las Vegas, launches into cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” pic.twitter.com/R73cFvU22v
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) October 8, 2017
When the deadly shooting began, Aldean was nearing the end of his set as the final act of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, where dozens were killed and over 500 injured.
Over the weekend, one week after the shooting, Aldean returned to Las Vegas with his pregnant wife, Brittany Kerr Aldean, to visit wounded survivors in the hospital and thank the first responders and everyday heroes who helped save lives that night.
— UMC Hospital (@UMCSN) October 8, 2017
Neither Aldean’s return to Las Vegas or SNL opening could have been easy, given what he saw unfold that last week, but the resiliency he displayed simply by standing on that stage, and visiting Las Vegas are exactly what the country needs. America always comes back stronger when it works together.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to go our to everyone impacted by this tragedy.