Jason Aldean SNL Tom Petty

Screengrab via Dan Diamond/Twitter

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

The video will give you chills.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Oct 7, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 3:02 pm CDT

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.

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*First Published: Oct 7, 2017, 11:25 pm CDT