'American Pie' Singer Don McLean Pulls Out of NRA Convention Singer and songwriter Don McLean performs at the Ryman Auditorium on May 12 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
By Zoe Papadakis | Thursday, 26 May 2022 11:17 AM
"American Pie" singer and songwriter Don McLean has opted out of the National Rifle Association annual meeting in wake of the shooting that took place Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Robb Elementary School massacre, which left 19 children and two adults dead, is the country's deadliest mass shooting this year and has sparked fierce debates around gun control.
Now all eyes are on the NRA, which according to Billboard, holds its three-day celebration of "firearms and the second amendment" in Houston, roughly 275 miles from Uvalde.
Several bands and musicians, as well as guest speakers including former President Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, all Republicans, are set to appear at the event.
But McLean will no longer take to the stage at the NRA's Grand Ole Night of Freedom concert Saturday.
"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 Wednesday, according to 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. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation."
While McLean has pulled out, musicians including Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, former Restless Heart lead singer Larry Stewart and Danielle Peck are still scheduled to perform, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, several celebrities have reacted to the shooting.
Among them was singer Olivia Rodrigo who, during a concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, called for "stricter gun control laws."
"I wish we would never have to worry about our safety or our lives at places that are dedicated to our learning and growing," she said, according to BBC. "I'm so heartbroken that this is the reality that we're living in – and we need stricter gun control laws in America."
Taylor Swift also spoke out, saying that she was "filled with rage and grief" by the "ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak."