Watch Jason Aldean’s emotional cover of Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ on SNL

The country singer, who was performing at the time of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, gave a surprise performance on the show last night

Jason Aldean made a surprise appearance on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live to perform the Tom Petty classic ‘I Won’t Back Down’ – watch the tribute performance below.

Aldean made his first public appearance with the performance since last week’s mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival, which began as the country star was on stage. 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured in the deadliest US shooting in recent history.

Last night’s episode of SNL (October 7) saw the show’s traditional ‘cold open’ taken up by Aldean, who performed the Petty track in tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas attack as well as the late rock icon, who passed away on October 2 at the age of 66.

“This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history,” Aldean said as an introduction. “Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting: there are children, parents, brother, sisters, friends. They’re all part of our family.

“So I wanna say to them: we hurt for you, and we hurt with you. And you can be sure we’re gonna walk through these tough times together every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit – it’s unbreakable.”

Watch Aldean’s performance of Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ below.

Earlier this week, The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers posted a written tribute to the victims of the shooting, which took place in his home city.