Jason Aldean opens ‘SNL’ with Tom Petty cover to honor the Las Vegas shooting victims


Less than a week after the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 and injured more than 500, the man who was playing a concert during the Nevada massacre opened Saturday Night Live in the most poignant way possible.

When SNL went on the air, country singer Jason Aldean was alone in the frame and began to speak. “So many people are hurting. There are 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.’ 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.”

Then, Aldean and his band went into the Tom Petty classic, “I Won’t Back Down.”

With the nation still reeling from the Las Vegas tragedy, SNL eschewing a cold open sketch and instead showcasing a song from Petty only five days after his death was a heartbreaking, yet uplifting way to start the show.

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.