Country music star Jason Aldean knows it will never feel the same taking the stage in Las Vegas following last year’s tragic mass shooting at the Route 91 Festival.
Aldean is set to perform in Vegas for the first time since the attack at this Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards.
“I think every time I go to Vegas from here on out it’ll be a little bit different,” Aldean told Entertainment Tonight. “I have just a little bit of a weird feeling. But I think I’ve experienced a lot of great things out there, a lot of big times in my career, really career defining moments for me in Vegas, so I love the city.”
Aldean was performing onstage at the annual music festival last October when gunman Stephen Paddock began firing into the 22,000-person crowd from a nearby hotel, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others.
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The singer says he looks forward to being joined at Sunday’s awards show by other artists who performed at the three-day Route 91 festival before the horrific attack.
“A lot of them were there that weekend playing on that same festival,” Aldean told ET. “So I think for me to go back in this way, with all those people, is kind of the perfect way to really go back and do it for the first time.”
Aldean returned to Las Vegas a week after the shooting last October and spent time with victims of the attack at local hospitals.
He also performed on “Saturday Night Live” the weekend after the festival, where he spread a message of unity.
“So many people are hurting,” Aldean told the audience at the time. “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. When America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it’s unbreakable.”