'American Pie' singer Don McLean pulls out of NRA convention over Uvalde shooting: 'Disrespectful and hurtful'
"American Pie" singer Don McLean has pulled out of a slated performance at the National Rifle Association's upcoming convention in Houston.
In a statement to EW, McLean cites Tuesday's deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — during which an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers — as his reason for cancelling his appearance at the event to be held by the gun rights organization.
"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 writes. "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."
The NRA did not immediately return EW's request for comment on McLean's cancellation.
Former President Donald Trump is, however, still scheduled to speak Friday at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum. Per a statement from the NRA, "firearms, firearm accessories, knives, and other items WILL NOT BE PERMITTED" at Trump's speech.
Though McLean will no longer appear at the convention, the NRA's website lists public figures such as Tomi Lahren, MMA fighter Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Rep. Tom Oliverson, and others as attendees.
"What I would say to the NRA, even though the city cannot cancel a contract because we don't agree with their position on guns, the NRA can postpone it a week or two to allow the families to bury their children," said Houston's mayor, Sylvester Turner, according to local news.
The NRA expressed "deepest sympathies" over the Uvalde shooting and labeled it a "horrific and evil crime" in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon, which concluded with a "pledge to redouble" the group's "commitment to making our schools secure."
Since the tragedy in Uvalde, celebrities including Viola Davis, Julianne Moore, Ana Navarro, and Quinta Brunson — have also spoken out against gun violence and the political obstacles blocking gun control.
"This is an epidemic we can control, whichever side of the aisle we may stand on. We all know we can do better. We must do better," Matthew McConaughey said in a statement on the shooting, which took place in his hometown. "Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured. And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming."