As Lee Greenwood & T. Graham Brown Back Out, NRA Concert Headed for Cancellation: Sources

As Lee Greenwood & T. Graham Brown Back Out, NRA Concert Headed for Cancellation: Sources thumbnail

Country singers Lee Greenwood and T. Graham Brown, as well as SiriusXM Y2Kountry host Danielle Peck, have all pulled out of the National Rifle Association’s Memorial Day weekend concert in Houston, while a source tells Billboard that the NRA is expected to announce the concert’s cancellation on Friday.

At the time of writing, the only artist still scheduled to perform at the concert was singer Jacob Bryant .

Greenwood, Brown and Peck join “American Pie” singer Don McLean, Larry Stewart and Larry Gatlin in opting not to appear at the “Grand Ole Night of Freedom” show slated to take place on Saturday (May 28) in the aftermath of Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.

The NRA did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.

Greenwood released a statement saying, “As an American father, I am absolutely heartbroken by this horrific incident that took place in Texas. I was scheduled to perform with my band at the NRA’s private event Saturday. After careful consideration, we decided to cancel the appearance in respect for the teachers and children who have lost their innocence in Uvalde .

He said, “During this Memorial Day Weekend we should also remember those servicemen and women and first responders who have given their lives for our country.” Please join me in paying our respects as I unite as the best measure at this moment .”

Brown also sent a statement that read, “Sheila, I grieve with families, city Uvalde, state of Texas and our nation. We are sensitive to the feelings and pain of those who have lost loved ones. I will therefore be opting out of Saturday’s concert in Houston. I believe that the families deserve time to grieve. It’s a difficult week for everyone. We pray for God’s blessings as we search for answers .”

In her statement, Peck said: “After much thought and out of respect for all the families in Uvalde TX during this heartbreaking time, I have decided not to host or perform at the NRA Event Houston this weekend. My thoughts and prayers will be with them.” Instead, my thoughts are and prayers will be with the families going though this terrible and unimaginable time .”

Greenwood, Brown and Peck’s statements echoed those by McLean, Stewart and Gatlin in citing the Uvalde school shooting – which has been reported as the 212th mass shooting event in the U.S. by the Gun Violence Archive – as the reason for their retreat from the event.

McLean started the exodus Wednesday after sending out a statement saying, “In light the recent events in Texas. I have decided that it would be disrespectful to perform for NRA at their convention, Houston this week. These events are sure to shock and sicken all those who plan on attending this event. We are all Americans. I share the grief for this horrible, cruel loss with the rest .”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will host the annual meeting of the gun lobbying group that has donated tens to millions to politicians to support Second Amendment legislation. Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz from Texas, along with former President Donald Trump, will host the annual meeting of the gun lobbying organization that has donated tens of millions to politicians to bolster Second Amendment legislation. The gathering — which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, and is also scheduled to feature speeches from several other Republican politicians, including Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.

In a statement, the NRA called the massacre at the Texas grade school — the deadliest such incident since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead — a “horrific and evil crime,” which it said was the work of a “lone, deranged criminal.” It added, “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 schools secure.”

Abbott, a Republican who last year signed a law that did away with the requirement for Texans to be licensed to carry handguns, said on Wednesday that the slain 18-year-old suspect had no known criminal history or mental health issues.

-Additional reporting by Melinda Newman

Read More