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WATCH: Jason Aldean Opens SNL With Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down'

Country star Jason Aldean took the stage on "Saturday Night Live", paying tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre and to the late rocker Tom Petty.  

Aldean performed a cover of  Petty’s 'I Won’t Back Down":Aldean was performing at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas last Sunday night when a gunman sprayed bullets into the crowd from a high-rise hotel. Petty died Monday in Los Angeles at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest.

The country star delivered a message:

"This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. So many people are hurting. You can be sure that we are going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way."

"Like, everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal."

"So many people are hurting — there are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends that are all part of our family. So, I want to say to them we hurt for you and we hurt with you. You can be sure that we're gonna 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."

Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Fear, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we arent Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate! #stopthehate #prayforlasvegas

A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean) on

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