Jason Aldean: ‘Meeting festival massacre survivors was hardest thing I ever had to do’
Jason Aldean had a “rough” time visiting survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas, because he was overwhelmed by the 2017 tragedy.
The country star was performing onstage during the event last October (17) when a sick gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 concert goers and injuring hundreds more.
Following the tragedy, the singer paid a low-key visit to one of the hospitals, where many of the survivors were recovering.
“It was rough, one of the hardest things I probably ever had to do,” Aldean told The Ellen Degeneres Show on Monday (16Apr18). “But, to me, seeing them and some of the strength they had just being happy to be alive and make it through that (sic), it sort of allowed me to look at it in a different light too, and be like, ‘Yeah, if these people can come back from it and have that sort of attitude, then I got nothing to be whining about’.”
During the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday (15Apr18), which brought Aldean back to Las Vegas, he paid tribute to the victims of the massacre as he accepted the Entertainer of the Year Award.
“To my Route 91 people, you guys are in our hearts always,” he said. “I love you guys, and we love Las Vegas. Vegas strong, baby. Thank you.”
Prior to the ceremony, Aldean admitted he’ll always struggle with trips to Sin City from now on, even though her loves the place.
“It’s cool any time I come (to Las Vegas)… (but) probably for the rest of my life there will be a little bit of a weird feeling, at the same time,” he said. “I love this city. I always have. I’ve had one night where it was horrible, but I’ve had a million great nights here and a lot of great memories. It’s always going to be a little strange coming here.”