Don McLean Cancels NRA Convention Performance, While Lee Greenwood + More Press On
A country music-centric concert happening during the annual NRA meeting will be one man short. "American Pie" singer Don McLean has dropped out of the event in Houston, citing the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as his reason.
TMZ was first to share news of McLean's cancelation.
"In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week," the singer says in a statement that was later reported on by Billboard. "I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans."
Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, Restless Heart singer Larry Stewart, newcomer Jacob Bryant and T. Graham Brown are also on the lineup for the NRA's Grand Ole Night of Freedom concert on Saturday (May 28). Billboard notes that Greenwood, Gatlin and Brown have since confirmed they'll play for the crowd in Houston. Other speakers include Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump.
There has been significant social and political pressure on both the city of Houston and the NRA to postpone, cancel or move the event, but Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city is not able to, due to a binding contract.
On social media, the National Rifle Association expressed sympathies for the families and victims. "Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal," a tweet reads.
"As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure."
The mass shooting in Uvalde is the deadliest of 2022. The most recent reports indicate 19 children and two adults were killed by an 18-year-old gunman. The Associated Press reports that the gun he used (an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle) was purchased legally last week.