That’s what friends are for, I guess. To take you into a room full of music industry friends and throw you under the bus. But it was all in good fun.
Adkins was in Nashville on Wednesday (Dec. 2) presenting Shelton with his first ever CMT Artist of the Year award and just had to tease him about his very public divorce from Miranda Lambert and his very public new relationship with his fellow coach from The Voice, Gwen Stefani.
But it wasn’t all mockery and sarcasm. Adkins and Shelton have been friends for a long time — even before their collaboration on “Hillbilly Bone” topped the chart in 2009 — so he had some kind words to share about the man of the hour.
“Blake Shelton’s a man who knows how to handle a country song. He’s a man who knows how to handle a chain saw. He’s a huge star,” Adkins said, “and I think my favorite thing about him is the fact that he has no idea that he’s a big star.”
When Shelton joined Adkins on stage to accept his trophy, he admitted that 2016 had had its ups and downs, but that he was happy with where he ended up.
“This has been a crazy year from the way it started to how it’s ending, so awesome for me. So thank ya’ll. This is a great way to end the year for me,” Shelton said.
Earlier in the evening, some of Shelton’s other friends — Darius Rucker, Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn — paid tribute to him with a performance of his hit single, “Neon Light.”