Country superstar Jason Aldean surprised SNL viewers last night during the cold open. The singer delivered a powerful speech about the Las Vegas shooting, and then covered “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty. Aldean was the headliner at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 and injuring 500.
“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone I’m struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal,” Aldean said on SNL. “So many people are hurting and they’re our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. They’re all part of our family.
“I want to say to them, we hurt for you and we hurt with you,” he continued. “You can be sure 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’s appearance on SNL was his first public appearance since last weeks shooting. The singer is expected to return to his tour on October 12th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.