When a gunman opened fire from a hotel across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last month, killing 58 and injuring 489, country star Jason Aldean was performing on stage.
He's since asked for prayers on social media, honored those lost at the CMT Artists of the Year, , and released a Tom Petty cover of with proceeds going to the survivors. But for the first time, the singer is speaking out about the shooting.
"We wear in-ear monitors when we're on stage," Jason, who is expecting a baby boy with his wife, Brittany, told . "And really all you can hear is the music and maybe your guys that can talk to you on microphones that are on side-stage. So when it first happened, I thought a speaker had blown."
"It just sounded like a crackling something," he continued. "And so, I'm kind of looking around like, 'What is that?' [and] trying to figure out what it is. Then it stopped, so I was like, 'They must have got it fixed,' so I kept doing my thing."
But the crackling didn't stop.
"It lasted longer the second time," Jason remembered. "I was actually kind of getting aggravated, so I looked over at the monitor guy on the side of the stage, and I was like, 'What is that? And fix it.' So when I turned and looked, my guitar player had run behind me and was telling me to move, like, 'Let's go,' and my security guy was running on stage, telling me to run."
The attack has been named the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Last night, Jason joined Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Keith Urban, and Jon Pardi, in putting on a benefit concert. Country Rising raised more than $4 million to support Las Vegas victims and hurricane relief efforts.