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Back on tour, country star Jason Aldean preaches unity

 (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)
(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

Country star Jason Aldean returned to the stage Thursday night, resuming the tour he set aside in the wake of the deadly Las Vegas shooting.

In Tulsa, Okla., the "Burnin' It Down" singer launched into a five-minute speech about the tragedy and cursed the shooter, who killed 58 people and injured more than 500 others before dying. Aldean was onstage at the Route 91 Harvest music festival when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers on Oct. 1. (Police are still investigating a motive in the tragedy.)

The Georgia native addressed the mass shooting three songs into his set, the Associated Press reported, and honored the victims by telling attendees to resist living in fear and live in unity instead.

"Sometimes this country can be really divided and that's a really unfortunate thing to see," Aldean said, according to video obtained by TMZ. "But it's been really cool to see all the love and support that's been going on over the last 10 days or so because of what happened in Las Vegas. And I just feel like if we can do that on a daily basis, the world would be a lot better place."

Describing it as a "a tough week and a half" for him and his crew, Aldean added that he was glad they were able to resume the tour.

"These people are going to continue to try to hold us down and continue to try to do things to us that make us live in fear or be scared. ... To those people that keep trying to do that, I say ... you," Aldean said, using an expletive as an enthusiastic crowd that cheered him on.

It's been really cool to see all the love and support that's been going on over the last 10 days or so because of what happened in Las Vegas. And I just feel like if we can do that on a daily basis, the world would be a lot better place

Jason Aldean

"I want to play the show for you guys that the people in Las Vegas came to see and didn't get a chance to," he said, noting that even though people may not have physical injuries, "it's gonna be a mental thing for a lot of people for a long time."

Aldean is touring in support of his album "They Don't Know" and canceled three shows in California last weekend out of respect for the victims. He then made a surprise appearance in New York to open "Saturday Night Live" with a somber Tom Petty tribute, then visited shooting victims at the Las Vegas hospital where they were being treated on Sunday.

Thursday's arena show at the BOK Center in Tulsa required concertgoers to walk through metal detectors and police presence was visible, AP said. 

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