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The controversy began Friday (July 27), when the country superstar tweeted, "Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn't just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one." The tweet resulted in several surprised and angry followers lashing out at Blake. NPR blogger Barbara J. King was one of many who replied, asking, "That turtle's life meant something -- was your tweet a bad joke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?"
The husband of Miranda Lambert replied by simply saying, "Shut up," but the incident was far from over. Talk show host and outspoken animal advocate Ellen DeGeneres even got in on the action Monday, tweeting, "@BlakeShelton Here's what's funny: knock-knock jokes. Here's what's not funny: animal cruelty."
One user, who goes by the username @turtlefeed, said, "You might want to stop insulting people who are concerned about turtles, Mr. Animal Lover" -- a response that caused Blake to fire off several angry tweets, including "Hey @turtlefeed... I solely have raised over a million dollars in animal rescue/conservation alone... How much have you raised? Oh. Ok. Next!"
Finally, the 35-year-old singer had enough and tweeted, "The best part of all of this is that the dumb asses didn't even look to see that I'm not even in Oklahoma today!! I'm in North Dakota!! Do they even have turtles in North Dakota?!!! God almighty!!! What's wrong with people?! Get a life!! Get a job!! Get laid!! For once!!!"
Finally, for those who he may have seriously offended, Blake tweeted, "Ok.. Now that 'Turtle-Gate' is over I want to apologize for my ignorant joke.. I never ran over a turtle. It wasn't even possible," adding that, "And also I'd like to thank my followers for always having my back!!! Y'all know my sense of humor. And yes it's screwed up... "
The upcoming mentor for Season 3 of "The Voice" admits his tweets are often over-the-top, but adds he has no plans to censor himself. "I hope that people learn from me, it's OK to be yourself," Blake told the New York Times. "It's OK to offend somebody, and, as a matter of fact, please be polarizing. If you're not polarizing, you failed, in my opinion. If you don't stand for something, how can anyone respect what you do?"
Blake will continue his Well Lit & Amplified tour this Friday (August 3) with a show in George, Washington. See a list of cities and dates on his tour here.
Watch Blake's Ping Pong Interview