Right-wing country music singer Lee Greenwood said he will not perform at a concert for the National Rifle Association in Houston on Saturday.
The concert is part of a Memorial Day weekend rally organized by the NRA that will feature speeches from former President Donald Trump and Texas GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas,” Greenwood, who often performs at Trump rallies, said in a statement.
“I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band. After thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.”
Other performers, including Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart, have also canceled their appearances in light of Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was also slated to attend, but his office announced Thursday he would offer pre-recorded video remarks instead.
In a statement, Gatlin struck a notably different tone to the Republican politicians still slated to speak, saying he could not “in good conscience” perform at the event.
“While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde — in my beloved, weeping TEXAS.”
Cruz and other Republicans have accused Democrats of politicizing the tragedy by calling for stricter gun control measures as a result. There’s renewed pressure on Congress to pass legislation that would expand background checks for gun purchases. Two gun control bills have already passed in the House but stalled due to opposition from Senate Republicans, many of whom receive hundreds of thousands of campaign donations from gun lobbyists and the NRA.