Jason Aldean Opens 'SNL' With Surprise Performance of Tom Petty's 'Won't Back Down' After Las Vegas Tragedy

In light of Sunday night’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas, Saturday Night Live forewent its usual political cold open in favor of a powerful message from Jason Aldean.

The country music singer, who was performing when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival, killing 59 and injuring over 500 more, began the late-night sketch comedy show by delivering a heartfelt message, followed by an emotional performance of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” The song choice, obviously notable, given that the legendary singer died the day after the shooting at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest.

“So many people are hurting… Children, brothers, sisters, parents — they’re all part of our family,” Aldean said before the performance. “We’re gonna work through these tough times together, all the way.”

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