May 7, 2019 10:38 am
Updated: May 7, 2019 1:56 pm

Don McLean receives lifetime achievement award, only to have it rescinded hours later

Singer Don McLean was offered a Lifetime Musical Achievement award from the Student Alumni association of University of California. But a few hours later the association took the award back. after learning about McLean's domestic abuse charges.


It’s likely that Don McLean was feeling Wonderful Baby when offered the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement on Monday morning.

That was, however, until the accolade was taken away from him only a mere few hours later.

After the Student Alumni Association of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered McLean, 73, was charged with domestic abuse in early 2016, they rescinded the award, according to Press Herald.

Don McLean speaks onstage at An Evening With Don McLean at the Grammy Museum on March 25, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Rebecca Sapp/WireImage for Recording Academy

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The American Pie singer was arrested in his Maine home on Jan. 18, 2016, after a physical altercation with his now ex-wife, Patrisha McLean.

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After losing his award, the 73-year-old was left Crying to his 339,000 Facebook followers in an open letter.

“Dear UCLA,” he began, tagging the page, “you awarded me your George and Ira Gershwin life time achievement award and then took it back because you found out about my squabble with my ex wife. This has been all over the internet for 3 years,” he continued. “Are you people morons?”

“This is settled law,” he added. “Maybe I need to give you some bribe money to grease the college wheels. Don’t ever come near me again unless you offer me an apology for the damage you have done me,” he threatened.

“I am guilty of nothing to do with assault and you had better make that clear,” he concluded. “We live in a dark age of accusation and not law.”

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McLean pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault after being booked at a local jail. The charge was dismissed after making a plea agreement. He was released on US$10,000 bail.

Don McLean’s mugshot, taken at Knox County Jail on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.

Getty Images/Handout

The singer said that the altercation was the result of “the very painful breakdown of an almost 30-year relationship.”

The McLeans divorced shortly after the incident.

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McLean plays a handful of shows throughout the U.S. each year. His latest album, Botanical Gardens, was released last year — his first since 2009’s Addicted to Black.

As of this writing, it’s unclear if McLean is working on any new projects or planning a tour.

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