News & Politics

John Hinckley Jr. Is Planning a “Redemption Tour”

The man who shot Reagan just sold out his first show. The Ronald Reagan foundation isn't happy.

Photo courtesy of the FBI.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute isn’t so thrilled about almost-assassin John Hinckley Jr.’s new music career. The organization posted a statement Wednesday night expressing sadness and concern about Hinckley’s upcoming unconditional release from court supervision and his intention to “profit from his infamy” through music.

The statement comes as Hinckley’s presence on social media grows ever larger. Through his Twitter account and YouTube channel, the man who shot President Reagan in the lung in 1981 has announced a number of upcoming milestones in his fledgling career as a singer-songwriter. One of the first things he’ll do after his June release is play a live concert in New York City. The show, to be held at Brooklyn venue Market Hotel, is on July 8, and will apparently involve Hinckley playing his guitar while performing original songs. According to the concert’s promoter, Scenic Presents, there will be some special guest appearances, too.  The show sold out on Tuesday after a weekend of high ticket sales, and the hundreds of comments under his social media posts seem to be mostly supportive.

In fact, Hinckley has already announced a second show at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago and said on Twitter that he plans to add more dates for his “John Hinckley Redemption Tour.”

Hinckley’s music career kicked off last summer when a YouTube video that he posted of himself singing an original love song went viral. He started the YouTube channel almost two years ago, and has filled it with videos of himself singing both covers and original songs. To date, he has about 26,500 subscribers and more than 844,000 views.

According to the Associated Press, Hinckley wants to use music to make a new name for himself. “I’m a musician. Nobody knows that,” he has reportedly said to his doctors. “They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.” Hinckley was granted court permission to publicly display his artwork, writings, and music under his own name in October 2020 after a new assessment of his mental health showed he had “sufficiently recovered his sanity.” In April 2021, his attorney used the same assessment to file for Hinckley’s unconditional release, which was approved a few months later.

Hinckley recently started his own record label, called Emporia Records, according to a video he posted on YouTube. He says he’s planning a 14-song album of his original music. Its release date, unlike Hinckley’s, has yet to be announced.

Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.