Last updated on May 27, 2022
Lee Greenwood, the conservative singer whose “God Bless the USA” has become an anthem for Republicans, became the latest performer to pull out of the National Rifle Association‘s weekend convention in Houston in the wake of the Texas school massacre.
Greenwood joined “American Pie” singer Don McLean, and country superstar Larry Gatlin in skipping the event, which has taken on heightened controversy as the shooting in an Uvalde school has reignited the debate about gun control.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas. I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band,” Greenwood said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.”
Lee Greenwood Pulls Out of NRA Concert in Houston https://t.co/4wfGeBo4dR
— Variety (@Variety) May 27, 2022
An 18-year-old male, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy against giving mass shooters the notoriety they crave, killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Tuesday.
The horrific attack occurred just days before the NRA’s annual event, which the association’s website promotes to “showcase over 14 acres of the latest guns and gear.” Former President Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott are expected to attend.
Greenwood, McLean, and Gatlin were among the artists set to perform at the Memorial Day weekend convention. Danielle Peck was also scheduled to perform, but it was unclear if she intended to go through with her show.
The 76-year-old McLean pulled out earlier Thursday, saying the tragedy had cast a cloud over the event.
“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,” McLean said in a statement. “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.”
The NRA released a statement of its own in the wake of the tragedy.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime,” the NRA statement read. “On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services.
“Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. 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.”