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A Voice Controversy? Adam Levine Defends Tony Lucca's "99 Problems" From "Rip-Off" Claims

THE VOICE, Tony Lucca, Adam Levine Justin Lubin/NBC

Despite what Tony Lucca's critics are saying on social media, due credit was given when The Voice contestant sang "99 Problems" last night.

That's the word from Adam Levine, who defended his protégé on Twitter today in the wake of accusations by some of the show's viewers that Lucca failed to acknowledge that his countrified take on Jay-Z's hit was actually a cover of a bluegrass version performed by English singer-songwriter Hugo.

In fact, the Voice coach clarified that an attribution was made but got lost somewhere in the edit.

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"I DID mention this but it wasn't used. Must give credit where credit is due. The version that inspired us...HUGO!," Levine tweeted, including a link to a Youtube video of the latter's rendition.

The way producers cut the show gave some folks the impression that Lucca came up with the bluegrass arrangement of "99 Problems" all on his own. Fellow coach Blake Shelton probably didn't help the situation and created even more confusion when he praised the crooner saying, "What a really cool version of that song, by the way, man."

Angry fans subsequently gave a big thumbs-down to the aspiring popster online.

"Kind of a rip-off on the Voice tonight. That wasn't Lucca's take on 99 Problems, it was originally done by Hugo. Look it up.. #disappoint," tweeted @codymillard.

Another fan named Justin Flaws complained: "So the dude on The Voice just blatantly ripped off Hugo's cover of Jay Z's 99 Problems and tried to pass it off as his own... Weak dude."

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The supposed Hugo diss wasn't the only controversy to come out of last night's episode.

Tensions came to a boil between Levine and Christina Aguilera after the latter judge bashed Lucca's performance as being denigrating to women.

"I thought you sounded great. I mean, you have a really cool voice," said the diva before adding with a slight hint of acid, "I know your beautiful wife and your daughter and family are here tonight, and I just thought, you know, the lyrical connotation was a little derogatory towards women, you know, but all in all it was good fun."

The Maroon 5 frontman promptly fired back.

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"First of all, just to clarify, so you all know—the intent behind the song...is life getting at you. Things bringing you down," he snapped. "We're not referring to women, we're referring to everything."

When Aguilera pointed out, "The lyric is 'If you're having girl problems. It is girl. It's girl," Levine retorted, "It's called a metaphor."

Ouch.

In any case, Lucca can pat himself on the back for making it to the final four. He'll battle Juliet Simms, Jermaine Paul and Chris Mann for this season's crown and the grand prize of a recording contract when The Voice finale airs Tuesday.

—Additional reporting by Sharareh Drury

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