Nuno Bettencourt Apologizes to Richard Fortus and Reflects on Controversial Comments about Guitarist Slash and Rihanna Tour

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Nuno Bettencourt, guitarist for pop superstar Rihanna, has publicly apologized to Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus after a heated online exchange. The dispute originated from a comment made by Bettencourt that seemed to slight Fortus’ colleague, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash.

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Bettencourt expressed regret for his remarks on Twitter and acknowledged his mistake. He admitted that his message was not intended as a direct criticism of Slash but was poorly communicated. The guitarist took to social media the following day, posting a video in which he apologized to everyone, admitting his immaturity, and expressing his desire to sit down and resolve the issue with Fortus over a beer.

In another interview with Planet Rock, Bettencourt remarked on the musical diversity of a Rihanna concert. He shared that many guitar players he looks up to, including Slash, might struggle to handle the variety of genres performed in one show. Bettencourt spoke highly of Rihanna’s music, emphasizing the challenge of seamlessly transitioning from reggae to R&B, punk rock, pop, and club tracks.

Shortly after these statements made waves in the music media, Fortus took to Instagram to defend Slash’s versatility on the guitar. He respectfully disagreed with Bettencourt’s assessment and stated that the gig would not be a struggle for Slash. Fortus, who toured with Rihanna before Bettencourt and has played extensively with Slash, defended his bandmate and emphasized the guitarist’s capability.

Bettencourt then posted on social media to clarify his original comments and address Richard Fortus directly. In a lengthy message, he expressed regret at the misunderstanding and clarified his intentions. He admitted to poor word choice and emphasized his deep respect for Slash as one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. Bettencourt further explained that his comment was not meant to criticize Slash’s ability but rather highlight the challenge for rock guitarists to adapt to different genres.

Realizing the unnecessary escalation of the situation, Bettencourt released a nearly five-minute video apology. He took full responsibility for his statements, describing them as “stupid shit” that he said in a press interview. The guitarist expressed his desire to focus on his band, Extreme, and avoid speaking on topics outside his expertise. He apologized again to Richard Fortus, acknowledging his right to defend Slash and expressing regret over any offense caused.

Nuno Bettencourt most recently shared the stage with Rihanna during her Super Bowl halftime performance in Phoenix on February 12, 2023. Despite the controversy, the guitarist remains committed to moving forward and fostering positive relationships within the guitarist community.