Seven months after the deadly Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting in Las Vegas, Jake Owen acknowledges that he will never, ever be the same.
Jake Owen told Taste of Country, “I’m a changed guy, 100 percent.” When the shooting began Owen was hanging out on the side of the stage watching Jason Aldean’s festival-closing set.
Owen said, “I have met many of the victims from Vegas in the last few weeks. They are just innocent people who came out to see a show and hear music that night, and now they are in a wheelchair and can’t walk. I was there with those people,” he went on to say “Why wasn’t it me?”
The night when a single shooter killed 58 country music fans and injured more than 800 more has haunted Owen. While the pain is still there for him and all the other artists who were performing that night, he’s managed to find some light in the darkness. He says now he understands his purpose.
Owen said, “The whole Vegas thing gave me so much perspective, personally. Now I look out into the crowd of people coming out to enjoy a show differently. They are not only coming out to see an artist they like, but some of them are coming out to escape a little from everyday life. They are there to create memories with the people they love.”
He insisted that he understood that before, “But now, more than ever before my job is to go out there and entertain.”
– Intern Nate