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Eric Church Apologizes For Slamming Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert & 'The Voice'

Eric Church performs onstage during the Academy of Country Music concerts on Fremont at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas on March 30, 2012 / inset: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert -- Getty Premium
Eric Church performs onstage during the Academy of Country Music concerts on Fremont at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas on March 30, 2012 / inset: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert -- Getty Premium

Country singer Eric Church is in the midst of a war of words following remarks he made about Blake Shelton, "The Voice" and reality TV singing competitions.

"Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green turn around in a red chair, you got a deal? That's crazy," the singer said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone when asked about reality TV singing competitions.

PLAY IT NOW: What Made Blake Shelton Feel ‘Sick’ On ‘The Voice’?

"I don't know what would make an art¬ist do that. You're not an artist," he continued in the RS interview. "Once your career becomes about some¬thing other than the music, then that's what it is. I'll never make that mistake. I don't care if I starve." Blake responded on Twitter, writing, "I wish I misunderstood this ," while wife Miranda Lambert, who previously toured with Eric - and has served as a mentor on "The Voice" -- slammed back even harder.

"Thanks Eric Church for saying I'm not a real artist. Or Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban," Miranda, who finished third on "Nashville Star" in 2003, Tweeted. "You're welcome for the tour in 2010."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Coaches: Then & Now

On Tuesday, Eric released a statement to Access Hollywood clarifying his remarks and apologizing to his fellow artists.

"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. 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," Eric said in the statement.

"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," the statement continued. "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."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: ACM Awards 2012: Las Vegas Goes Country!

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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