Country music star Jason Aldean did the opening scene for Saturday Night Live and gave a touching tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
Aldean was performing late Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 58 people and wounding more than 480.
Aldean was not the scheduled musical guest for Saturday night's episode of SNL, but in a surprise appearance, he opened the live show with remarks on the deadly shooting.
"This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history," Aldean said. "Like everyone else, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night, how to pick up the pieces and start to heal."
He addressed the victims of what is now considered the worst mass shooting in recent American history, noting that people who attended the concert lost parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends.
"We hurt for you, and we hurt with you," he said. "You can be sure that we are going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way."
He added, "When America is at its best, our bond and spirit — it’s unbreakable."
Aldean then went on to perform Tom Petty's song "I Won't Back Down."
"No, I won't back down," Aldean began singing. "You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."
Petty died Monday night in Los Angeles at age 66.