Lee Greenwood and other musicians backed out of a scheduled concert at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston, citing the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Greenwood, in a statement, said after “thoughtful consideration” his band decided to cancel its appearance for Saturday’s event.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas,” he said in a statement, according to Variety.
“I was scheduled to perform at the 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.”
Greenwood, known for his hit “God Bless the USA,” pulled out after “American Pie” singer Don McLean backed out of the concert.
Other musicians on Thursday also said they wouldn’t show up at the event dubbed The Grand Ole Night of Freedom, including country singers Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart, according to USA Today. Both cited the tragedy in Uvalde, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
Gatlin, in his statement, criticized the gun lobby organization for not supporting background checks.
“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,” Gatlin told USA Today.
“My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in America. I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple.”
Country artist Danielle Peck also won’t perform out of respect for the families, according to The Daily Beast. The singer T. Graham Brown also will not perform, according to Variety.
The scheduled concert is part of the NRA’s annual convention in Houston, which is about four hours from Uvalde.
Country artist Jacob Bryant confirmed to NBC News he was still scheduled to play.
On Wednesday, the NRA offered its “deepest sympathies” over the mass shooting.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime,” the NRA said in a statement it posted on Twitter. “On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services.”
The NRA went on to state while an investigation is ongoing, “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 school secure.”