It seems Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White is none too happy with country singer Jason Aldean, the performer who was on stage when Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a Las Vegas concert, killing close to 60 people and injuring hundreds of others.
According to White, Aldean was invited to play the national anthem at one of the UFC’s fight cards, where survivors of the incident were said to be in attendance, but refused, only to turn around and appear on Saturday Night Live.
As you can imagine, this isn’t sitting well with a lot of folks.
According to the Daily Wire,
Dana White said the country singer’s team lied to him about why he couldn’t perform. He said he contacted Aldean’s camp to see if the singer would sing the national anthem at an ultimate fighting championship in Vegas on Saturday night. White says at least 15 survivors and hundreds of first responders were set to be in the house.
But White says Aldean’s people rejected the invite, saying the singer might never perform live again. Aldean was playing at the Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, when Stephen Paddock, 64, began shooting into the crowd from the Mandalay Bay hotel across the street in what would become the nation’s worst-ever mass shooting.
Aldean fled the stage, and his team said he was still too rattled to perform, according to White.
That same night, though, Aldean appeared on Saturday Night Live in New York City. The show didn’t do its usual political open, but instead featured Aldean paying tribute to both the victims of last Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas and Tom Petty, who died from cardiac arrest this past week at the age of 66.
Aldean performed I Won’t Back Down, a 1989 hit by Petty.
White spoke with TMZ, where he had this to say:
White says he also reached out to several country music stars — telling us, “Country music was attacked. Those were country music fans.”
White says every single country act turned him down.
“Those are people who buy your albums and none of you country music people could sing the anthem in front of survivors and 1st responders?”
White offered a ton of praise to Everlast — who stepped in and performed instead.
“This isn’t about money. This is about the bad ass people who fought through this sh*t that this coward did.”
Whatever reason Aldean gave for not performing at the UFC event, it definitely doesn’t look good on him not to perform in front of survivors, though it’s likely he was booked for SNL way in advance. Still, he could’ve rescheduled that and made it a point to return to Vegas and do something nice for those who fought through this horrific event.
If he was indeed untruthful with White about why he couldn’t show up to the gig, than that’s just messed up. it would have been better to be honest and upfront.
Will this hurt Jason’s career? Doubtful, but it certainly won’t help either.