Jason Aldean Speaks About Las Vegas Shooting, Covers Tom Petty During Surprise Saturday Night Live Performance

Country star speaks out after Las Vegas tragedy last Sunday

By Meg Swertlow Oct 08, 2017 4:04 AMTags

Jason Aldean won't back down.

Days after the Las Vegas tragedy occurred during his set at Route 91 Harvest Festival, the singer appeared on stage on tonight's Saturday Night Live to make a powerful speech and to honor the late Tom Petty.

Opening the show, the solemn star said, "I'm Jason Aldean. This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone I am struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting."

He continued, "There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friend. 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 we are going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way."

And finally, the 40-year-old said, "When America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable."

The country star then broke into the 1989 classic, "Won't Back Down," which served as an inspiring message to Americans, as well as a tribute to Petty, who died on Monday.

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In addition to the surprise intro, tonight's show is being hosted by Wonder Woman star and Israeli actress Gal Gadot. Sam Smith is the night's musical guest.