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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

Coun­try mu­sic star Ja­son Aldean said he hopes that heal­ing can start for those af­fected by the mass shoot­ing last month at a Las

Ve­gas mu­sic fes­ti­val in his first in­ter­view since the vi­o­lence. Speak­ing on NBC’s Today show, Aldean, who was on stage when a man opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Har­vest Fes­ti­val, said that he ini­tially thought a speaker had blown when he heard a sound like a crack­ling over his in-ear mon­i­tors. Af­ter the shoot­ing con­tin­ued, he looked over to the side of the stage to fig­ure out what was go­ing on. “When I turned to look, my gui­tar player had run be­hind me and was telling me to move, like ‘Let’s go,’” Aldean said. “And my se­cu­rity guy was run­ning on stage telling me to run.” Fifty-eight peo­ple were killed and hun­dreds more in­jured in the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern Amer­i­can his­tory af­ter a gun­man opened fire from the 32nd floor of a ho­tel-casino. SWAT teams with explosives then stormed the gun­man’s room and found he had killed him­self. “Every­one was scram­bling, just didn’t know what was go­ing on,” Aldean said. “It was panic. That’s prob­a­bly the best way to de­scribe it.” The coun­try star can­celed some of his tour dates, but re­sumed tour­ing about two weeks af­ter the shoot­ing. “Hon­estly, be­ing back on stage prob­a­bly helped us more than any­thing,” he said. Aldean was joined in the in­ter­view by fel­low coun­try stars Dierks Bent­ley and Lady An­te­bel­lum, who were all gath­ered in Nashville, Tenn., on Sun­day to raise money for vic­tims of re­cent hur­ri­canes and the Las Ve­gas shoot­ing. The Coun­try Ris­ing con­cert, which also fea­tured Ge­orge Strait and Chris Sta­ple­ton, raised more than $4 mil­lion. “I just hope everybody can start to heal,” Aldean said. “Some of this stuff you can never get over. I hope it gets bet­ter for everybody as time goes on.”

Ac­tress Tracee Ellis Ross will be close by when her mom, Diana Ross, is hon­ored at Sun­day’s Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards be­cause she’ll be host­ing the show. The black­ish star said she’s ex­cited to be named the host but is “es­pe­cially thrilled” to do it the year that her mother is get­ting the Life­time Achieve­ment award. Diana Ross will not only be hon­ored but also will take the stage to per­form. Tracee Ellis Ross is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her mom, who hosted the Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards years ago. Per­form­ers at Sun­day’s event in Los An­ge­les in­clude Kelly Clark­son, Se­lena Gomez, Demi Lo­vato and Niall Horan. Christina Aguil­era will per­form a special trib­ute to The Body­guard sound­track, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary.

Aldean

Ross

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