Watch the 2018 ACM Awards Pay Tribute to Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Country artists come together in Las Vegas to remember the deadly shooting

By Mike Vulpo Apr 16, 2018 12:16 AMTags

Country music will never forget about the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

More than six months after tragedy struck Las Vegas' music festival, the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards decided to start the show with a moving tribute for all those affected by the shooting.

"Tonight, we wanted to open the show with something that sums up what it's like for our country music family to be back in Las Vegas for the first time since October 1. We thought about starting with a song, but it's a lot bigger than a single song," Jason Aldean shared with the crowd. "It's everything you'll hear tonight: The songs that bring us to our feet, make you want to pull someone close or just live in the moment. Nothing can take that away from us."

Luke Bryan added, "For those of us who have experienced tragedy and unexpected loss, music helps us remember what really matters in life."

Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett also took to the stage to share powerful words before Jason summed it up best. 

"With respect and love for the victims, our friends, family, and fans, we celebrate the music tonight," the "You Make It Easy" singer shared while wearing a Vegas Strong pin. "America, this is your ACM Awards."  

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While the live telecast held inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena may have kicked off on a somber note, things are about to get light when several artists take to the stage.

And yes, host Reba McEntire may have a few surprises up her sleeve. 

"It's going to be a different show this year. I told them I didn't want to talk about politics. I didn't want to talk to them about nothing that's not fun and positive," Reba shared with E! News. "And we're going to pay tribute to the folks who were involved in the tragedy in Vegas not too long ago and then the rest of the show is going to be a lot of fun. We're going to keep it very positive."