Country Music Stars Respond To The Las Vegas Shooting With Thoughts & Prayers
After a deadly shooting occurred Sunday at a country music festival in Las Vegas named Route 91 Harvest Festival, country music singers immediately began to respond to the tragic event on Twitter and Instagram. The tragedy started Sunday night when shots were fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into the festival on the ground, according to The New York Times, which made it hard for anyone to run for cover.
According to CNN, country star Jason Aldean was on stage when the shooting broke out. And, Jake Owen, another singer who, according to the NYT, was on stage when the shots started, told CNN that "shooting fish in a barrel" was an accurate comparison for the horrific event, which left at least 50 dead and hundreds injured. “This is not an exaggeration," Owen continued, "This shooting was going on for at least 10 minutes ... It was nonstop.”
Aldean and Owen both managed to take cover and escape the venue unharmed. Aldean took to Instagram shortly afterward to share his thoughts and prayers in a caption that read [sic]:
Owen took to Twitter to share a similar message.
Praying for everyone here in Vegas. I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight. We are okay. Others arent. Please pray.— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) October 2, 2017
But, they were far from the only singers and musicians to share their thoughts and prayers on social media.
There are no words to express the helplessness and sorrow my broken heart feels for the victims in Vegas and their families.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) October 2, 2017
The Reputation singer tried to express her sorrow in the wake of the attack.
Woke up to such horrible news. We are praying for the victims and their families. May the Lord bring some comfort to them.— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) October 2, 2017
The American Idol alum wrote on Twitter that she woke up to the news.
Words can't begin explain my sadness. My family and I are praying for the victims of this tragedy. Truly heartbroken.— Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) October 2, 2017
Singer Bryan wanted his fans to know he was praying for those affected by the violence.
This world is sick 😔— Kane Brown (@kanebrown) October 2, 2017
Another musician who performed at the event, he took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
I won't be sleeping tonight. Instead I am going to pray and pray and pray for the people in Vegas. 💔💔— Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina) October 2, 2017
Praying for everyone at Route 91. That crowd was one of the best I've played for all year. This news is devastating. My camp is home & safe.— Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina) October 2, 2017
Alaina also performed on Sunday, and took to social media to let everyone know she was OK.
Praying for everyone at #HarvestFestival. There are no words right now that suffice.— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) October 2, 2017
Paisley also posted a message to Instagram with this caption: "I love country music, our fans, and our industry. We are a family. And we are hurting together today. God be with the victims. #prayforvegas"
My deepest sympathies and prayers to anyone has been affected by the Vegas shooting last night. I don't even know anymore... Why?— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) October 2, 2017
The Voice coach and singer sent his sympathies to those affected.
Heartbroken over the news of Vegas. My thoughts with all the innocent victims and their families x— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) October 2, 2017
Twain said she was "heartbroken" on Twitter.
JUST HEARING ABOUT VEGAS. Noooooooo 💔 Heartbroken for Vegas + the country community. Numbingly terrifying. Wtf.— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) October 2, 2017
One tweet wasn't enough for Musgraves to get her thoughts across, so she posted a lengthy follow-up statement.
Stilled and speechless... Our hearts and prayers are with everyone involved and affected. - KU— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) October 2, 2017
In a brief message on Twitter, Urban sent his prayers.
Watching this horrific news from Las Vegas and Route 91 Festival. We played this festival last year. Praying for everyone's safety.— Martina McBride (@martinamcbride) October 2, 2017
The singer wrote on Twitter that she played the venue last year and was thinking of everyone involved.
The singer posted a brief message on Twitter and tagged the festival.
The theme of most of the country stars' messages was one of thoughts and prayers — a response which often gets critiqued after a gun-related tragedy. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took to Twitter after the shooting to decry that "thoughts and prayers are not enough."
Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough. Not when more moms & dads will bury kids this week, & more sons & daughters will grow up without parents.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) October 2, 2017
While certainly none of these musicians meant any harm by their heartfelt messages, some people often feel frustrated that shootings happen again and again and the response is never change — but simply thought. Some of the country stars' tweets displayed fan responses similar to Warren's. "It's been proven that prayers don't work. Take guns off the shelves and ban them," one user responded to Underwood's tweet.
What, if anything, will change this time will be determined in the days and weeks ahead. And, as time goes by, more stars country (among others), will likely speak up to express their thoughts and feelings on everything that happened. For now, as people deal with the shock — particularly those in the country music family — thoughts and prayers seems to be what they have and wish to offer at this time.
Here are some ways you can help the victims in Las Vegas.