As country music finds itself at the center of the worst mass shooting in modern American history, its biggest stars continue to reach out to the fans on social media, trying to bring comfort and make some sense of the tragedy.
As the death toll grew to at least 58, with more than 500 injured, country artists seemed to grow more outraged that the shooter chose the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas to commit such violence. Headliner Jason Aldean was in the middle of the set that would’ve closed the three-day festival, when alleged gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
“Concerts are supposed to be a safe play we can go to escape,” Dan + Shay shared, along with a photo of the duo performing at last year’s event with R&B legends Boyz II Men.
“A night of escape. A night of celebration and unity in the love of music…” Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook reflected. “To think that someone’s hatred took advantage of something so pure is devastating.”
“Remember in the darkest times the world needs the joy that music brings,” Dustin Lynch reminded his friends and fans. “Music is love, and love always wins.”
Here’s what others were saying on Twitter and Instagram:
Rascal Flatts: Dear Jesus, please touch everyone involved in this tragedy. Bring healing to the injured & comfort to the families who lost loved ones. Amen.
Dierks Bentley: Prayers for everyone in Las Vegas… our country music family of fans and friends. God bless all those hurting right now. At a total loss for words.
Little Big Town‘s Jimi Westbrook: I count it a privilege every night to stand on the stage and look into thousands of smiling, happy faces. Families. Men, women, and children who have come together for a night of fun. A night of escape. A night of celebration and unity in the love of music. It’s a beautiful thing to witness from my perspective. To think that someone’s hatred took advantage of something so pure is devastating. To all my friends who were there, I thank God that you’re safe. To the many who are suffering the loss of your loved ones, I lift your hearts up in prayer. I pray for peace in all of hearts and the knowledge that good will always win. Love will always prevail. I believe that in my heart & I’m holding on to that today. #prayforlasvegas
Jon Pardi: I’m devastated to hear about the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones, those who lost their lives or were injured, and those who were there. Take the time and hug the people you love and pray for Vegas.
Dustin Lynch: Hate will not define us, hate will not determine how we live, and what we love to do. Honestly at a loss of words and in shock of the tragedy that took place last night in Las Vegas. Personally I have a lot of friends and fellow artists who fortunately are safe. Praying for all those who lost their lives, are missing, and injured. My thoughts are also with their families, and the first responders on site. Remember in the darkest times the world needs the joy that music brings. Music is love, and love always wins.”
Dan + Shay: One year ago, on stage at Route 91 Harvest Festival, with Boyz II Men. A festival to celebrate love, to celebrate community. This morning, our hearts are heavy for the victims + families of last night’s shooting. Concerts are supposed to be a safe place we can go to escape. Although our country music family is hurting, we are not broken. We will push forward and be united by love. Giving love, receiving love. Still at a loss for words, but needed to share a snapshot of love to, if only for a moment, distract ourselves from today’s pain. Vegas, our thoughts + prayers are with you.
Zac Brown Band: Last night the music community was shaken to its core by a senseless, tragic event. We grieve for the victims and all those affected.
Brothers Osborne: We are completely devastated by these tragic events that happened in Vegas last night. We can only imagine the flood of emotions you all must be feeling and for that we send our love and prayers to you all. After our set on Friday, we talked about how you were one of the best groups of people we’ve ever played for. So much love. So much joy. So much pure happiness floating thru the air. I know it might be hard but don’t lose those feelings. Those emotions are sacred. Don’t let a deranged coward take that from you. We wish that we could reach our arms around every damn one of you and your families right now. Hold on tight to the ones you love. We love you all and will be keeping you forever in our thoughts. John and TJ.
Josh Turner: I’m thankful many of my brothers & sisters in the business are safe but my heart is broken for those killed/injured in the Vegas shooting.
Cam: Endlessly grateful to the @LVMPD, first responders and just plain heroes that ran towards the chaos to help.
Toby Keith: God be with the music lovers and the music makers in Vegas last night. Take time to pray. -T
Tracy Lawrence: My heart is heavy today. The tragedy in Las Vegas last night is hitting way too close to home. My thoughts & prayers are with those impacted
Hunter Hayes: This is heartbreaking. I cannot believe this tragic news. My heart and my prayers are with everyone affected by this horrific tragedy. So so sad.
Ray Stevens: What a senseless tragedy! Our prayers are with those who were lost and their families and our deep gratitude to the First Responders.
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