Country music stars including Luke Combs have confirmed that they are safe after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
The shooting began on the final day of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Here’s more about Combs, who performed at the country music festival on Sunday prior to the attack.
1. Combs Posted on Facebook Just Hours Before the Shooting
Combs posted on Facebook a picture of himself performing at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival just hours before the shooting.
Combs re-shared the photo after the attack in a post that read:
I wanted to post a photo of what this festival was supposed to be about and not give this horrible person the recognition he so desperately wanted. I am incredibly saddened by tonight’s events and while I’m thankful that me and all of my band and crew are alive and unharmed, I can’t help but hurt for all the people who weren’t as fortunate and the pain their loved ones must feel.
His message came shortly after the devastating Las Vegas massacre that left more than 50 dead and 200 injured.
2. Combs Performed Before Jason Aldean
Combs took the stage before headliner Jason Aldean performed, who was on the stage when shots rang out.
A video posted on social media captured the moment the gunshots began, forcing Aldean to stop mid-song and leave the stage.
Witnesses reported that a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino. Police later found the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, dead in a Mandalay Bay hotel room where he had at least 10 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
After the shooting, Aldean posted a photo of Vegas on his Instagram with the words ‘Pray for Vegas.’ He went on to write, “Tonight has been beyond horrific.”
3. Combs’ Debut Single “Hurricane” Landed Him National Attention
In 2015, Combs’ first single, “Hurricane”, sold 15,000 copies in the first week, and debuted at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
In November 2015, Combs released his third EP, “This One’s for You.” In June 2017, Combs released his major label debut album of the same name (“This One’s For You”) on Columbia Nashville and River House Artists.
Combs signed a deal with Sony Music Nashville, and the debut single from This One’s For You, “Hurricane” was re-released on Columbia Nashville– extending the single’s rise.
“Hurricane,” reached No. 1 on the Country Radio airplay charts on May 15, 2017– holding that spot for 2 weeks.
The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums in its first week. The album’s second single, “When It Rains It Pours” released to country radio on June 19, 2017.
4. Combs Has Said He’s Proud That Nothing Has Been Handed to Him
In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Combs says he’s proud that nothing has ever been handed to him.
“I didn’t even know what a tour manager was, but I was the tour manager, booking agent, all that stuff for almost two years without knowing it,” Combs told the publication. “I wasn’t overwhelmed because I enjoyed doing it.”
He added that he did not begin a music career in a quest for fame.
“I just love writing songs and singing them,” Combs told Rolling Stone. “People seem to enjoy them, and that’s all you can really ask for. I didn’t get into it to try to be a celebrity or whatever.”
5. Combs Is From Asheville, North Carolina
Combs was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.
While attending A.C. Reynolds High School, Combs played football and performed with multiple vocal groups.
He went on to attend Appalachian State University where he played his first country music show at the Parthenon Cafe. He later moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music, where his talent was quickly recognized.
“Everything right now has taken off in the right direction a little bit faster than I expected,” Combs told Blue Ridge Now in 2016. “That’s fine with me. I want to be able to sit back and take it in, but it’s just on to the next thing tomorrow. It’s a great problem to have.”