The ACM Awards marks the first time most, if not all, of the county music stars in attendance have come back to Las Vegas since the shooting during Route 91 Harvest Festival.
While doing press the week prior to the awards show, Extra TV caught up with host Reba McEntire to talk to her about how the show would be honoring the victims of the shooting – the 58 people killed and 851 people injured, as well as the thousands more in attendance.
“[You can expect] a lot of heartfelt words from a lot of different artists,” the 15-time host said. “It will set the tone of how much we feel for all the victims, the people, the families, the fans. With Jason being onstage the time when it happened, that affected our community, our friends. And so it was something we hope never happens again, but we will definitely pay tribute to those who were affected by it.”
Throughout the ACM Awards weekend, country stars, their spouses, and even fans, have been sharing an image honoring the victims and saying how as a community of country music fans, the event made us all one unit.
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We are thankful to get to be a part of country music. We are thankful we get to live in a country where our voices can be heard. We are hopeful that together we can create a better world for our children. To the many still living with injuries and trauma from that night in Las Vegas, we want to do everything we can to continue to support you-and today we honor you by wearing the number 851. To the fans, road families and family members of those who lost someone-we wear this number today-58-to let you know one thing: we have not forgotten you. We have not forgotten your names. Carrie, Nicol, Steve, Andrea, Denise, Sandy, Chris, so many lost, and so many loved ones still mourning. You are with us not only tonight in Las Vegas as we come together, but every single night in every single town. We love you all, Thomas Rhett and Lauren #fansfirst #vegasstrong
You might even see some country stars wearing pins with the numbers 851 or 58 on their clothing.
Jason Aldean stood on the dimly lit stage to tell the audience that they thought of opening the show with a song, but decided to honor the victims with a few words from country music’s biggest stars.
Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett were also on stage to say a few solemn, but powerful words. Some fans are calling the no-song opening a perfect way to start the show. Do you agree?
Watch their tribute below.