Names and faces
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.