Did Eric Church Slam 'The Voice,' Blake Shelton?
Did Eric Church Slam 'The Voice,' Blake Shelton?

While Blake Shelton was performing his most recent single on The Voice, fellow country artist Eric Church was coming under fire for comments he made about reality TV that specifically mentioned Shelton.
The folks at Keepin' It Country excerpted parts of Church's recent Rolling Stone interview that raised the ire of many on Monday night. The "Homeboy" singer is quoted as saying, "Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f--ing turn around in a red chair, you get a deal? That's crazy. I don't know what would make an artist do that. You're not an artist."

The perceived jab at Shelton comes in another quote from the article: "If I was concerned about my legacy, there's no f--ing way I would ever sit there [and be a reality-show judge]. Once your career becomes something other than the music, then that's what it is. I'll never make that mistake. I don't care if I f--ing starve."

Some immediately pointed out that Church toured with Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, in 2010. Lambert, of course, not only mentored her husband's artists on The Voice this season but rose to national attention on another reality singing series, Nashville Star.

After an angry backlash on Twitter, including from Lambert herself, Church released a statement published by ABC News clarifying his comments, saying that his words were "part of a larger commentary on these types of reality shows and the perception they create, not the artists involved with the shows themselves.

"Every artist has to follow up television appearances with dedication towards their craft, but these shows tend to gloss over that part and make it seem like you can be ordained into stardom. I have a problem with those perceived shortcuts, not just in the music industry.

"I have a lot of respect for what artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and my friend Miranda Lambert have gone on to accomplish. This piece was never intended to tear down any individual and I apologize to anybody I offended in trying to shed light on this issue."

What do you think, Voice fans? Were Church's comments out of line? Or did he merely pick a controversial way to express his feelings toward a legitimate issue? Share your opinions in the comments.

The Voice rolls on tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.

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Image courtesy of NBC