Hank Williams Jr. Walks Offstage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hank Williams Jr. Walks Offstage

YAHOO.COM - It's pretty hard to steal the spotlight at an event honoring celebs of such magnitude as Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Lady Antebellum. But Hank Williams Jr. managed to be the one who did it Tuesday night, at a taping of CMT's annual Artist Of The Year event.

And it wasn't for his stellar performance. Quite the contrary: Williams made news for striding offstage right in the middle of his duet with CMT honoree Jason Aldean.

According to Williams's publicist, the reason for his abrupt departure was due to quality control. "He didn't feel like he was giving an adequate performance while joining Jason on his song, 'Tattoos on This Town.'"

It doesn't seem that there was any sort of underlying personal issue between the artists. Aldean praised Williams highly before the show, calling him "awesome" and "the real deal." And Williams's rep added that Williams wanted only to honor Aldean that night--"Turning in a poor performance would only ruin that effort."

Williams himself issued a statement to Country Weekly on Wednesday: "I've heard people mess up my songs and screw up [Hank Williams Sr.] songs. I was here to honor Jason, a kid I really like. When I walked out there, it didn't feel right, it didn't sound right. I didn't want to disrespect him."

Aldean, who is one of CMT's five honored artists of 2011, ended up performing a do-over of the song by himself without incident. This is the version viewers will see when the show airs December 13 at 9 p.m. ET.

As fans well know, Williams has already fallen into hot water this year. His controversial comments comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler live on Fox News back in October triggered the loss of a longtime alliance with ESPN's Monday Night Football.

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