On Sept. 21, during the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Jason Aldean honored the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival and the first responders who arrived on the scene that day. The tribute took place nearly one year after the Oct. 1 mass shooting, which killed 58 people and injured 851.
Joined by radio host Bobby Bones, the country star brought Vegas firefighters, EMTs and police officers to the stage to celebrate their heroism.
Aldean addressed the crowd, honoring the kindness and strength of the city of Las Vegas.
"On behalf of myself, my family and my family in the country music community, I want to say thank you to the city of Las Vegas for your courage, strength and kindness," Aldean said. "Tonight, we are all proud to be Vegas Strong."
— MORE Las Vegas (@MOREFOX5) September 22, 2018
Aldean was performing at the country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017 when a gunman opened fire into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The Route 91 shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
While his performance at the festival marks Aldean's first full-length set in Vegas since the Route 91 tragedy, the country singer returned to the city earlier this year to perform at the 2018 ACM Awards. Along with Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett, Aldean opened the 2018 ACM Awards with a moment of remembrance for the Route 91 victims.
Aldean has also visited with Route 91 survivors in the months since the shooting. Backstage at the iHeartRadio festival, Aldean met with Route 91 survivor Melissa Wall.
— iHeartRadio Festival (@iHeartFestival) September 22, 2018
"Being back in Vegas this close to the anniversary of it is, at times, a little weird," Aldean told reporters backstage before his performance at the festival. "In another sense, it's nice to be back. This is really our first performance we've had here since then. Tonight is going to be another step in getting through all that stuff."