Jake Owen isn't going to let the songwriting community tear down a friend. The country hitmaker came to Chase Rice's defense when writer Abe Stoklasa called Rice a "f---ing disaster" and told him to retire.

In the comments of Rice's Instagram statement following a controversial concert in eastern Tennessee on Saturday (June 27), Stoklasa attacks Rice on a personal level. "You sound like if Sam hunt (sic) took a s--t seven years ago and somehow grew a mouth and learned protools," the songwriter says. "My whole industry hates you."

An hour later, he apologized for saying the whole industry hates Rice, but not before Owen weighed in.

"Hey @abestoklasa ... you are a talented, smart guy," Owen says, "Why lower yourself to a post like this? It’s sad man. What you said is ridiculous. 'Hate?'... you’re gonna use a word like that, in a time like this? Chase is my friend. I am a part of this industry, and trust me it’s not just yours. I stick up for my friends. I’ve always thought you were a great musician, songwriter and voice. You are better than this. That was straight ignorant thing to say."

Among Stoklasa's hits are "Fix" for Chris Lane and "Get to You" for Michael Ray. He has also penned album cuts for Blake Shelton, Lady A and Tim McGraw.

Abe Stoklasa photo

Owen also tweeted his disappointment that artists within the country music community are attacking one another. Kelsea Ballerini and Will Hoge are two others who've sounded off with anger after Rice and Chris Janson performed 'normal' concerts over the weekend, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to the Tennessean, Rice's manager explains that they felt good about venue health protocols before the show and indicates they'll do a better job communicating with fans and suggesting social distancing measures during shows.

Janson's record label also says the artist was told health and safety measures would be in place, pointing out that two dozens artists were on the three-day Idaho festival bill he headlined.

Rice and Owen were once both part of Sony Music Nashville. Both singers originally hail from Florida.

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