Country Music World Praying After Las Vegas Massacre Left at Least 58 Dead
The worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history took place during a Las Vegas country music festival Sunday night, prompting some prominent voices in the genre to pray.
Over 400 people were injured and at least 58 were killed after suspected gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, went on a shooting rampage during the final day of a three-day outdoor country music event called the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Jason Aldean, the headliner for the festival Sunday, was performing at the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds when shooting erupted from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Aldean took to Instagram where he admitted to being heartbroken after the massacre unfolded on a crowd of an estimated 22,000 during his set.
"Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don't know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe," Aldean wrote on Instagram. "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate."
Luke Combs was also performing at the festival Sunday night, and took to Instagram to post a photograph of himself singing in hopes of revealing what the festival was supposed to symbolize before tragedy struck. Combs called on people to keep the country music community in their prayers.
"I wanted to post a photo of what this festival was supposed to be about and not give this horrible person the recognition he so desperately wanted. I am incredibly saddened by tonight's events and while I'm thankful that me and all of my band and crew are alive and unharmed, I can't help but hurt for all the people who weren't as fortunate and the pain their loved ones must feel," he wrote. "Keep Vegas, these fans, and all of the country music community in your thoughts and prayers, we could sure use it tonight. Thank you."
Tyler Reeve, the country music artist who also performed at the Route 91 Festival over the weekend, credited God's grace for his safety.
"..I don't have words to describe the horror of what happened and how quickly it turned into such a tragic night. I was absolutely terrified," he wrote on Instagram. "I pray for every single person affected by this. By the Grace of God I am safe, as well as all of my crew and friends."
Reeve went on to add, "Prayers and energy really needed for everyone involved and affected."
Singer-songwriter Michael Ray also played at the festival over the weekend and expressed his shock about the events by tweeting, "My heart is breaking we were just there Friday! My prayers are with everyone @Route91Harvest."
Lauren Alaina, who also performed at the weekend festival, had trouble sleeping after the devastating shooting even though she and her crew made it home safe.
"That crowd was one of the best I've played for all year. This news is devastating," she tweeted.
"I won't be sleeping tonight. Instead I am going to pray and pray and pray for the people in Vegas."
Country music veteran Reba McEntire made it clear that the Las Vegas massacre affected people in the genre even if they were not in attendance at the festival.
"My heart goes out to all of our friends, @jasonaldean, our music family and fans in Las Vegas. I'm praying for your healing," she wrote on Instagram. "I pray God puts his arms around you. This is so sad and devastating."
Carrie Underwood, the "American Idol" alumnus and country music star, also asked God to comfort those affected by the tragedy in a message on Twitter.
"Woke up to such horrible news. We are praying for the victims and their families," Underwood wrote. "May the Lord bring some comfort to them."