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Jason Aldean reflects on the 'guilt' he felt after Las Vegas shooting

The country star got candid about the grief he experienced during a Sunday Sitdown interview with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist.
/ Source: TODAY

Country star Jason Aldean is opening up about the grief he experienced after a gunman shot and killed 58 people and injured nearly a thousand others at an October 2017 music festival in Las Vegas where he performed.

The singer, who will return to Las Vegas to perform for fans again in September, told Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist he's struggled with feelings of guilt and anger ever since the massacre happened.

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"When somebody buys a ticket to our show or comes into an arena to watch you play, you know, we want them to come, have fun, get home safe, and come see us the next time we're in town. I mean, the last thing we're thinking is they're gonna show up and never leave," Aldean, 41, revealed during an emotional Sunday Sitdown interview.

As the singer performed onstage at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, the gunman began firing into the crowd. Aldean rushed backstage in terror to find his wife, Brittany, who was pregnant with the couple's now 8-month-old son, Memphis.

"It definitely was scary. I think about, like, on one hand, I hate that she was there to have to experience it. On the other hand, it's like I know if she was at home and saw it on the news, she would have freaked out, and I don't know what would have been worse," said the star.

Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr
Aldean's wife, Brittany, was pregnant with the couple's now 8-month-old son, Memphis, at the time of the Las Vegas shooting. They're now expecting their second child.David Becker / Getty Images

Days later, the singer performed a moving tribute to the victims on "Saturday Night Live," and then returned to Vegas the next day to visit wounded concertgoers in the hospital.

"I think in the weeks that followed that ... it was a lot of different emotions going on for me and, you know, guilt, anger and a lot of other things," he recalled.

"I know in my heart that it's not my fault that that happened, but it still doesn't keep you from feeling a little guilty that, you know, people were there for you," he added.

While Aldean will never be able to forget the terrible tragedy, he's doing his best to move forward.

"That's not something I want on my résumé for the rest of my life," Aldean said, regretfully. "For me, it's something that — not that I want to forget — but it's just something that I choose to not relive over and over."