Eric Church may not agree with talent-based reality TV shows, but the 34-year-old country star didn't mean to offend those who used them as a platform to launch their careers.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Church took issue with NBC's The Voice and Fox's American Idol. "Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f-cking turn around in a red chair, you got a deal?" Church said of the former, also featuring Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine. "That's crazy. I don't know what would make an artist do that. You're not an artist."
Shelton, 35, and his wife Miranda Lambert, both expressed their disappointment in Church via Twitter. "Thanks Eric Church for saying I'm not a real artist. Or Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban," wrote Lambert, 28, who finished third on Nashville Star in 2003. "You're welcome for the tour in 2010."
In a statement to Us Weekly Tuesday, Church both clarified his original remarks and apologized to his peers who took offense.
"The comment I made to Rolling Stone was part of a larger commentary on these types of reality television shows and the perception they create, not the artists involved with the shows themselves. The shows make it appear that artists can shortcut their way to success."
"There are a lot of artists due to their own perseverance that have gone on to be successful after appearing on these shows, but the real obstacles come after the cameras stop rolling," Church says. "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."
Church concludes: "Many people have come to think they can just wake up and have things handed to them. 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. I am grateful for all of the artists and fans that have supported me along my journey and certainly did not mean for my comments to undermine their talent and achievements."