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Watch Jason Aldean Cover Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”on SNL

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Gal Gadot" Episode 1727 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Aldean performs "I Won't Back Down" in Studio 8H on October 7, 2017 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Last night, country singer Jason Aldean took the stage for the first time since the deadly shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas to perform on Saturday Night Live. Aldean, who was performing at the time of the horrific shooting, here played a heartfelt cover of Tom Petty‘s “I Won’t Back Down” and spoke about the tragic circumstances surrounding the event.

“This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” he said at the show’s opening. “You can be sure that we’re going to walk through these tough times every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit—it’s unbreakable.”

Last week, Aldean released a statement in response to the event, confirming that he and his crew were safe and sending this “thoughts and prayers” to everyone involved. The message was later followed by a lengthy statement posted to Instagram, where the songwriter stressed the importance of unity in a time of hopelessness. Watch his SNL performance below.