Don McLean

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Don McLean Earns Lifetime Achievement Award, Has It Rescind Hours Later

May 7, 2019

On Friday Don McLean had learned that he was going to be the recipient of the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement that is presented by the Student Alumni Association of the University of California, Los Angeles.

McLean made an announcement that he would be receiving the award; hours later the 'American Pie' singer had the award taken from him. The Portland Press Herald reports that after learning that McLean was arrested in 2016 and was charged with a misdemeanor for domestic violence, the SAA’s Spring Sing Executive Committee deiced to take the award back. 

The senior executive director of UCLA Strategic Communications Media Relations, Tod M. Tamberg gave a statement saying, 

“The decision to rescind the award was made by SAA’s Spring Sing Executive Committee upon learning that Mr. McLean had previously been convicted of domestic violence charges. SAA rejects any behavior — including violence and the threat of violence in all its forms — that does not uphold the True Bruin Values. We extend our support to survivors of domestic violence.”

Soon after having the award rescinded, McLean’s publicist gave a statement calling the decision disrespectful, “Publicly disrespectful and grossly humiliating to Mr. McLean to issue and then rescind an award based on the supposition of any violent criminal history. Disappointed that an institution such as UCLA, having had adequate time to vet all potential award recipients, would so easily and negligently overlook something as public as what has happened to Mr. McLean and his family three years ago."