Performers at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards started off the show Sunday night with a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting.
Jason Aldean, who was on the stage during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Vegas when a gunman opened fire on concert goers killing 58 people last October, was the first one to speak. He talked about how the entire evening, not just one song, was dedicated to those who lost their lives.
“Tonight, we wanted to open the show with something that sums up what its like for our country music family to be back in Las Vegas for the first time since October 1,” Aldean shared. “We thought about starting with a song, but its a lot bigger than a single song. Its everything youll hear tonight: the songs that bring us to our feet, make you want to pull someone close or just live in the moment. Nothing can take that away from us.”
“On this night, our country community, the people here in Las Vegas, and all of you at home are united through the healing power of music,” Miranda Lambert explained next.
“For those of us who have experienced tragedy and unexpected loss, music helps us remember what really matters in life,” Luke Bryan added.
“Music does so much more than provide an escape from the pain, it inspires us, it soothes us, and it makes us stronger,” Maren Moris stated.
“It gives us the chance to rejoice in what we have and tells us that there is always a reason to carry on,” Thomas Rhett shared.
“With respect and love for the victims, our friends, family, and fans, we celebrate the music tonight,” Aldean added. “America, this is your ACM Awards!”