OFFSTAGE: Eric Church vs. Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I hate when artists fight. Especially when it’s artists I love. Like Eric Church and Miranda Lambert. It just feels so wrong. So in order to wrap my head around the internet uproar and the he said/she said debacle, I’m going to write out what everyone said in plain terms so we can all just put it behind us.

What Church Said (to Rolling Stone):
“It’s become American Idol gone mad. Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f—ing turn around in a red chair, you got a deal? That’s crazy. I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist.” He added, “If I was concerned about my legacy, there’s no f—ing way I would ever sit there [and be a judge]. Once your career becomes about 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.”

What Lambert and Blake Shelton Said (on Twitter):
“Thanks Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist. Or @kelly_clarkson, @carrieunderwood & @KeithUrban. You’re welcome for the tour in 2010,” tweeted Lambert.

“I wish I misunderstood this,” wrote Shelton, adding later, “Why? Just why?”

What Church Said Later (in a Statement From His Publicist):
“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. 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. 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. Many people have come to think they can just wake up and have things handed to them.”