— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) April 16, 2018
The ACM Awards began on the perfect note on Sunday evening, but for a change the event didn't kick off with a performance. Instead, a few of country's brightest stars took the stage in Las Vegas for a somber reminder that the people who lost their lives in the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting last year haven't been forgotten.
"Tonight we wanted to open the show with something that sums up what it's like for our country music family to be back in Las Vegas for the first time since October 1st," said Jason Aldean, who was performing at the festival when the shooting began. "We thought about starting with a song, but it's a lot bigger than a single song. It's everything you'll hear all night, the songs that bring us to our feet and make you wanna pull someone close or just live in the moment. Nothing can take that away from us."
The tragic shooting at the Vegas country music celebration killed 59 people and injured more than 400 others. The victims were also memorialized in a touching tribute at the Grammys in January that featured Maren Morris, who also joined Aldean on stage at the ACMs along with Miranda Lambert and others. Watch the emotional moment above.