The 2018 ACM Awards kicked off with a moment to remember the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.
Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan took the stage to begin the ceremonies in Las Vegas. Aldean, who was on stage when 58 concertgoers were killed and over 800 more were injured during the final night of the festival, told the audience what it was like for the “country music family” to reunite in the city. For many country stars, tonight’s ceremony marks the first time back in Vegas since the Oct. 1 shooting.
“Music helps us remember what really matters in life,” Bryan told the crowd. Morris went on to say that music “inspires us, soothes us and makes us stronger.”
It’s unclear if the opening statements will be the only focused tribute to those affected by the shooting.
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Keep reading Wide Open Country for more continuing coverage from the 2018 ACM Awards. You can also follow along with us on Twitter for live updates about the ceremony and tonight’s big winners.