Erik Kabik/Kabik Photo GroupThis past Friday, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band kicked off an eight-show Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, and the ex-Beatles drummer dedicated the show to the victims of the recent horrific mass shooting that took place in the city. He also made a personal donation the day before.

On Thursday, Starr and wife Barbara Bach donated $100,000 via their Lotus Foundation charity to the Nevada Resort Association’s just-launched Vegas Strong Fund, which supports the shooting victims and their families.

Matching the Starrs’ donation was Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Mark Frissora, whose company owns the Planet Hollywood resort. The $200,000 is part of a total of $2 million that Caesars Entertainment has contributed to the fund.

Starr tells Billboard about his Vegas performances, “We’re gonna try to play those shows with a lot of peace and love and try to raise the spirits.”

The residency is scheduled to wrap up on October 28, after which Ringo and the All Starr Band will play a series of concerts in various U.S. cities that winds down November 16 in Newark, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Starr tells Billboard that he was in Las Vegas for a meeting on October 2, the day after the shooting, when he heard the sad news that his friend Tom Petty had died.

“It was a shock,” Ringo explains. “When you first hear it, it’s like, ‘What…?!’ Like when I heard Elvis was dead…It has to sink in. It was very sad. That’s all I can say, really. God bless him and his family.”

Starr adds, “I’ll miss Tom. Tom was a good friend. I played with Tom, Tom Played with me. I got to know him over the years, really got to know him when he was in the [Traveling] Wilburys ’cause of George [Harrison].”

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