Performers, including Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart, all dropped out of the event in Houston, Texas, prior to the cancellation announcement by Southern rock singer Jacob Bryant – who was the only remaining artist on the bill.
“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 announced on Thursday (26 May).
On Tuesday (24 May), an 18-year-old gunman named Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 students and two adults.
In a separate statement, Gatlin explained his withdrawal from the event.
“I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend,” wrote the country singer, who was born in Texas.
He continued: “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.”
Stewart wrote on Twitter: “Due to the tragedy in Uvalde I want to honor the victims, families, the town and our friends in Texas the best I know how. So I have made the decision to pull out as a performer for the #NRA convention this weekend. I just believe this is best for me at this time. God Bless!”
The NRA has yet to confirm the event’s cancellation. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.