Lee Greenwood, Author of ‘God Bless the USA,’ Defends Kelly Clarkson

"God Bless the USA" singer Lee Greenwood defended Kelly Clarkson and John Legend by commenting on the public's negative feedback. 

"The Voice" coaches Clarkson and Legend were regarded "unpatriotic" in the wake of critiquing contestant Gythe Rigdon's cover of "God Bless the USA" by Greenwood recently.

Lee Greenwood at the Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee | Photo: Getty Images

Lee Greenwood at the Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee | Photo: Getty Images

"Before anyone decides to attack someone else on social media, they should exert the same measure of dignity and respect for their fellow human beings..."

In a statement to Country Living, Greenwood stood up for the two mentors and respected their responses. The country music artist said that he's constantly honored when someone will sing his song "God Bless The USA."

"I think it’s incredibly unfortunate that there’s any backlash at all toward Kelly Clarkson and John Legend over their critiques of Gyth Rigdon’s performance," he added. 

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Greenwood then explained that whoever is reprimanding Clarkson and Legend ought to comprehend the whole context that they as judges are doing what is expected from them as an expert panel. 

"Both Kelly and John were critical but also complimentary using such phrases as ‘ridiculously talented’ and ‘powerful rendition’ which shows they both used grace, humility and fairness toward him," he said.

The singer concluded, "Before anyone decides to attack someone else on social media, they should exert the same measure of dignity and respect for their fellow human beings and fellow Americans. We are all in this together."

During the Top 8 performance episode of “The Voice,” both Clarkson and Legend admitted that this hadn't been Rigdon's best performance so far.

“I feel like you can’t critique this song or you’re like going to hell or something. I will say, this was not my favorite vocal of you this season because I think you are a ridiculously talented vocalist,” Clarkson told Rigdon.

Meanwhile, Legend joked, “You chose the day we celebrate the British Invasion to sing this song." He was referencing that the top eight would later perform Beatles hits. “I agree with Kelly that this wasn’t your greatest vocal performance, but it was very strong and I felt the energy and the emotion. And it was a powerful rendition. Great job,” he added.

A lot of viewers weren't happy with their critiques. One person tweeted Clarkson, "I'm sorry that you and John hate America so much that you couldn't recognize Gyth song as a great rendition."

Another user said that she had lost all respect for Clarkson and Legend for making fun of the most patriotic song, which Rigdon sang superbly.

“John Legend hates America, that's a fact. Not sure where Kelly stands. Think they are just scared that Gyth was amazing and Blake is blowing them away! God Bless the USA!” a third person stated.

"God Bless the USA," which gained greater prominence during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, is considered to be Greenwood's signature song. Originally released in the spring of 1984, the song reached number 7 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles.

It was also played at the 1984 Republican National Convention with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan in attendance. In 1985, Greenwood won CMA Song of the Year for writing “God Bless the USA.” He was recently named one of Billboard’s 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time.

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