“American Pie” singer Don McLean said bye-bye to the upcoming National Rifle Association convention in Houston, saying it would be “disrespectful” to play after an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The 1970s folk-rock hitmaker on Wednesday canceled his appearance at the NRA’s Grand Ole Night of Freedom concert set for 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,” McLean said in a statement to the Press Herald. “I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well.”
Former President Donald Trump, however, said he will stick with his scheduled appearance on Friday as the NRA’s keynote speaker. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott also were scheduled to appear.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship,” Trump said on his social media network.
The scandal-plagued NRA’s convention returns after a pandemic hiatus.
In 2021, McLean’s Buddy Holly-inspired classic “American Pie” marked its 50-year anniversary since its 1971 release. He said he is performing concerts this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “when American Pie landed at the #1 spot on the Billboard chart.”
McLean also is known for the Vincent Van Gogh tribute, “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).”