Jason Aldean opens ‘SNL’ with Tom Petty’s ‘Won’t Back Down’

Country music singer Jason Aldean performs on stage during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shortly before a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas on October 1, killing 58 and injuring hundreds of others. Photo by James Atoa/UPI

Oct. 8 (UPI) — Country music star Jason Aldean opened this weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live by singing “I Won’t Back Down,” an anthem by Tom Petty, who died Monday.

“This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” Aldean said about the mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival where he was performing on Oct. 1.

“Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — 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. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit are unbreakable.”

Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds were hurt when Stephen Paddock opened fire from his 32nd floor hotel room window. As police closed in on him, he reportedly turned his gun on himself.

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