Jason Aldean pays homage to shooting victims

Jason Aldean at the 2017 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, US on June 7, 2017.
Jason Aldean at the 2017 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, US on June 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

ATLANTA • Country star Jason Aldean is not backing down from violence.

The singer who was performing when shooting broke out during the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, popped up on television show Saturday Night Live over the weekend to pay homage to the victims - and also to Tom Petty who died of a cardiac arrest.

"So many people are hurting: they're our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends - they're all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you and we hurt with you, but you can be sure we're going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way," he said.

He and his band then tore through a cover of Petty's 1989 anthem of defiance I Won't Back Down, reported trade publication Variety.

Aldean also returned on Sunday to Las Vegas where a gunman had recently unleashed a barrage of shots from a hotel, injuring more than 500 people and killing at least 58.

His pregnant wife Brittany Kerr also joined him on the emotional return to meet the survivors.

Writing on Instagram, she said: "Feels surreal being back in Vegas today. Visiting some of the strongest people we have ever met… fighting the toughest battle of them all… for their lives."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2017, with the headline 'Jason Aldean pays homage to shooting victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe