Jason Aldean Says ACM Awards Will Be the 'Perfect' Return to Las Vegas After Festival Shooting (Exclusive)

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Jason Aldean is headed to the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, and the singer says he's "looking forward" to his return to Las Vegas.

ET's Sophie Schillaci spoke with the "You Make It Easy" singer at the iHeartCountry Album Release party for his new record, Rearview Town, at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday, and he opened up about going back to Las Vegas for his first event since the devastating mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival last October.

"I think every time I go to Vegas from here on out it'll be a little bit different," Aldean admitted. "I have just a little bit of a weird feeling. But I think I've experienced a lot of great things out there, a lot of big times in my career, really career defining moments for me in Vegas, so I love the city."

The 41-year-old recording artist said he's also looking forward to being around his fellow country artists, who can relate to his experiences and emotional journey following the shooting.

"I'm excited that I'm going out there with the country music family, I'm going to be surrounded by a lot of people out there, friends and just people in the business. A lot of them were there, you know?" Aldean shared.

Aldean was on stage on the night of Oct. 1 when a gunman opened fire on the outdoor music festival from the window of an adjacent resort hotel. 58 people at the concert were killed in the attack, and more than 850 others were injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Many artists who had performed at the festival earlier were in the audience or nearby when the attack happened.

"A lot of them were there that weekend playing on that same festival," the singer said of his fellow country stars. "So I think for me to go back in this way, with all those people, is kind of the perfect way to really go back and do it for the first time."

Aldean, the reigning Entertainer of the Year, who is nominated in two categories at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards, is also set to take the stage at the show for a live performance. 

Apart from the fun of the awards show, the singer revealed he also has some plans for a Vegas guys' night with some of his fellow country stars. "Usually at some point a bunch of us, a lot of my friends, will get together," he said. "Me and Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker and Charles Kelley, all of us will get together and get a table and spend one whole night doing nothing but gambling and hanging out, so that's always one of my favorite things to do while I'm there."

The 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Aldean's new album, Rearview Town, is available April 13.

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