Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt has caused a bit of controversy after suggesting in a recent interview that not many of his fellow guitarists could handle working with Rihanna like he has.

It all started when Bettencourt gave an interview with Planet Rock in which he commented about working with Rihanna. “Most of the guitar players who I admire could not in their lifetime play that gig” because of all her different musical styles, he said. He specifically mentioned Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, saying that while he was “one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time,” even he would say, “it ain’t happening.” 

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The comments seemed to upset Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, who responded by writing, “there is very little @slash couldn’t do on guitar (if he wanted to). This gig wouldn’t be a struggle for him.”

That prompted Nuno to defend himself via social media “because I’d hate to think my few words offended a hero of mine, @slash and possibly f*** up my relationship with him.”

After calling Fortus a “replacement player in GUNS,” Nuno went on to explain himself.

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“As if I’d ever think Slash isn’t capable of playing any Rihanna song in his sleep,” he insisted, writing he only meant most guitarists would feel “like a fish out of water as a player” onstage with Rihanna.

He did acknowledge he used a “poor word choice” when suggesting Slash would “struggle” playing for the pop superstar, noting he hoped Slash “would be more mature enough to understand what I truly meant as a guitarist by that comment.”

“I’ve had NOTHING but respect and admiration for @gunsnroses and @slash,” he concluded, adding, “Apologies if I’ve unintentionally offended anyone.”

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