Jason Aldean on the 'crazy ride' culminating at ACM Awards
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Jason Aldean admits it had been a "crazy ride" leading up to his "emotional" American Country Music (ACM) Awards speech.

The 'Big Green Tractor' hitmaker won Entertainer of the Year for the third year in a row at the annual ceremony at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (15.04.18), where he used his time on stage to open up about the "rough year" which saw him perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Sin City last year, when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 and leaving over 500 people injured.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': "What a way to come back to Vegas.

"It's unreal ... Just being back here, it's been an emotional thing for us the whole weekend. To end it like that, that's crazy.

"People reached out to us a lot over the last six months, and it's meant the world to us.

"It's just been a crazy ride, and when you win something like that, you feel the love of people in the industry. It makes you feel good, it's special."

The 41-year-old musician - who attended the bash with his wife Brittany Kerr Aldean - joined fellow country stars Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett on stage to perform a tribute to the victims.

However, it was not an easy task as bringing up the horrific massacre and planning the tribute has been "tough" for Jason, though it has made him appreciate life more.

He said: "We've talked about [the tribute] so much over the last six months, but it's not something I enjoy talking about, really. "It's tough whenever it gets brought up, it's still tough.

"I'm 40 years old, but sometimes it takes us guys a while to grow up.

"Something like that happens and it sort of makes you look at a lot of things different and realise how short life is, and it makes you get your act together a little bit. It definitely did that for me."

In his acceptance speech, Jason said: "It's been a rough year and I just want to say thank you to everybody that reached out to us and showed us love and support over the last six months.

"It meant the world to us. To my Route 91 people, you guys are in my hearts, always. I love you guys and we love Las Vegas. Vegas strong, baby."

Several attendees sported gold pins displaying the numbers 851, 58 and 1, in memory to those who lost their lives, those who were injured and are being helped following the tragedy.

This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.

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