Live onstage in front of a field full of fans on Saturday (Oct. 7), Bryan honored the 58 lives lost, the wounded and the first responders who helped save thousands of defenseless music fans from the gunfire that erupted during Jason Aldean’s closing set by delivering a passionate speech.
“I want to remember those beautiful, those innocent, wonderful country music fans and those victims,” Bryan said. “I want to remember them and pray for their families. I want to salute the first responders in Las Vegas that night. From the policemen that ran in, to the people in the hospitals that were having a normal night and then their world got turned upside down.
“We were all robbed of our innocence Sunday night,” he added before asking for a moment of silence.
CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown, airing Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 14-15) at 9 a.m. ET, will have highlights from Bryan’s 2017 Farm Tour and a preview of the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year special.
The event, airing live from Nashville on Oct. 18, has been transformed into a night of hope and healing following the devastating hurricanes and the massacre in Las Vegas.
Bryan is a six-time honoree, and each CMT Artist of the Year will deliver heartfelt messages directly to their fans as a tribute to their unprecedented love and support throughout their respective careers.
“The main thing is stay true to you, [and] follow your heart,” Bryan told Hot 20. “Follow what got you here and try to enjoy every aspect of it.”
To date, Bryan’s Farm Tour has funded 60 college scholarships to local students within the communities it has played. His next album What Makes You Country arrives Dec. 8.
Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry will judge an all-new American Idol, coming to ABC in 2018.