Jason Aldean gives moving SNL performance

music news 09/10/2017

Jason Aldean, the country music star who was performing as the Las Vegas shooting began, has honoured the victims and survivors with an emotional tribute on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

The 'Dirt Road Anthem' singer was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd from the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 59 and leaving over 500 wounded.

Aldean and his band covered Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down', paying tribute to the legendary US rocker who also died last week.

"Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal," Aldean said in SNL's cold open.

"So many people are hurting. There are 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."

He also made a plea for Americans to put aside their differences and help each other, adding: "When America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable."

It's the first time SNL has opened on a sombre note since US President Donald Trump won the election in 2016 in the same week as Leonard Cohen's death, at which time the show started with Kate McKinnon's heartfelt rendition of 'Hallelujah'.