Jason Aldean Opens “Saturday Night Live,” Performs Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”

Aldean comments on the Las Vegas shooting — then tributes the victims (and the late Tom Petty) with “I Won’t Back Down.”

SNL | Will Heath/NBC

The cold open of this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” featured Jason Aldean.

Aldean began his segment by addressing the Las Vegas shooting, which broke out during his concert.

“This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” began Aldean. “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…they’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them – we hurt for you, and we hurt with you, but you can be sure, 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.”

Aldean then performed Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ classic hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty passed at the age of 66 this week.

A video of the entire cold open follows:

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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