Vegas Massacre Anniversary: Country Stars Observe Moment of Silence and Share Remembrances
The country music industry observed a moment of silence on Monday for 58 seconds to remember the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting
On Oct. 1, 2017, more than 22,000 people gathered in an open area in Las Vegas for the third and final day of the Route 91 Harvest Festival. As Jason Aldean closed out the festival with the final performance of the night, singing his hit “When She Says Baby” just after 10 p.m., shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, fired a hail of bullets lasting for more than 10 minutes on the crowd below his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino killing 58 people and injuring more than 700 others in the chaos.
On Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT, country stations around the country, record labels, publishers, booking agencies and several organizations observed a moment of silence for 58 seconds — one second for each person murdered — for the victims of the deadliest in modern America’s epidemic of mass shootings.
“Please join my family and the entire country music community, at 10:05am PT / 1:05pm ET for a moment of silence to remember those lost and all who were affected one year ago today by the Route 91 tragedy. #CountryStrong #VegasStrong,” Tim McGraw Tweeted on Monday, along with a photo of an orange ribbon with the Route 91 logo.
Country music stars across the board paid tribute to the victims across social media.
“Thinkin’ about our Route 91 family today. #vegasstrong,” Aldean Tweeted on Monday.
In April, Aldean addressed the tragedy when he returned to Las Vegas to take home the top award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“My wife, I love you. My three good luck charms at home … I love you guys,” he said in regards to his kids: daughters Keeley and Kendyl and infant son Memphis.
“It’s been a rough year and I just want to say thank you to everybody that reached out to us and showed us love and support over the last six months,” he continued. “It meant the world to us. To my Route 91 people, you guys are in my hearts, always. I love you guys and we love Las Vegas. Vegas strong, baby.”
And Aldean’s expectant wife, Brittany — who watched her husband perform from a tent behind the stage, as she was pregnant with their first child together — also took to Instagram on Monday to spread the love, as she was pictured with her back to the camera wearing a Route 91 Harvest sweatshirt.
“Heavy on our hearts today and every day👼🏻🧡 #vegasstrong,” she said.
Chris Young, who didn’t perform at the festival, but ended up attending last minute and took cover backstage as Paddock fired on the crowd, took to Twitter to remember the night that had “so much loss for no reason.”
“I don’t open up very often so I hope everyone takes this message as I mean it. It has been a year since #Route91 happened…so much loss for no reason during something that should have been a happy moment for everyone present,” he said. “I was there, I’m lucky to be alive, and I will never forget the loss that so many had to suffer through that day and all the days since. I’ll never forget having to call my family saying I hoped to see them again. I love you all. Cherish every day you have.”
Maren Morris, another performer at the festival, took to social media to pen a letter to “hate.”
Jake Owen, who took the stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the night of the shooting at 8 p.m. and then watched Aldean’s performance along with hundreds of fans when the chaos commenced, remembered the fans “singing along” to what was supposed to be a night of fun.
“I will never forget the evening of October 1st, 2017,” said Owen, who performed at the festival. “A year ago today people were loving life. They were singing along. Families and friends. 58 lives were lost and thousands were injured and lives changed forever. You will always be in my heart and on my mind.”
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“I wanted to take a moment to honor the memories of those we lost, and those still healing from last year’s tragedy,” he said. “Last night we honored the heroic fans who sacrificed everything in the midst of uncertainty. #VegasStrong”
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