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Watch Jason Aldean pay tribute to Las Vegas victims on 'SNL' with Tom Petty song

The country musician, who was on stage at a Las Vegas music festival last Sunday when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, opened "SNL" with a powerful performance.
/ Source: TODAY

Last night’s “Saturday Night Live” began with country musician Jason Aldean paying tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting with a performance of a song by the late Tom Petty.

Aldean was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas last Sunday night when a gunman opened fire from a nearby hotel, killing 58 people in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The latest edition of “SNL” opened with Aldean addressing the attack in a powerful message to the studio audience and the viewers at home.

"This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history," he remarked. "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. They're our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — they're all part of our family,” he continued. “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 America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable."

Aldean then performed the song “I Won’t Back Down” by the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty, who died Monday at the age of 66.

Saturday Night Live - Season 43
Aldean paid tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims with a nod to the late Tom Petty.NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Earlier in the week, Aldean commented on the Las Vegas shooting on his social media accounts, calling it “beyond horrific.”

“I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words I can say to take that pain away,” he wrote in one post. “Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together.

“Time to come together and stop the hate!” he added.