Greenwood says canceled show not his fault


DENVER -- Lee Greenwood, who refused to take the stage for a Denver concert in a dispute over his payment, says he hopes his fans don't blame him.

"I'd say they shouldn't be angry at me, they should be angry at the man who put on the show," the 64-year-old country singer told the Associated Press from Oregon, where he was to appear in concert Thursday night in Salem.

Greenwood, best known for "God Bless the USA," was to be the headliner last Saturday at a concert honoring veterans, police and firefighters.

His manager, Jerry Bentley, said the fee was $20,000 but the concert organizer came up with only about $14,000. Bentley said $2,000 of that was a personal check, but the contract specified cash or a cashier's check.

Concert organizer Frank Young disputes that, saying he had $18,000 in cash and a $2,000 check from the Knights of Columbus, a service organization. He said it was "disgraceful" that Greenwood didn't perform.

Greenwood said he has done 18 tours without charge for the military, but the Denver concert was booked as a paid appearance and not a charity concert.

He said it was only the third time in his 25 years of touring that a pay dispute stopped him from playing.

"I feel bad for the audience," he said. "I hate it when these things happen."