Eric Church Surprises North Carolina Music Hall of Fame … By Breaking Into His Own Induction
Eric Church was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on Thursday night (Oct. 15), and he made a surprise appearance at the ceremony in the Eric Church-iest way possible: by breaking into the venue.
The country rocker was not scheduled to be at his induction ceremony; he had a private event to be at, and his mother Rita and sister Kendra were going to accept the honor on his behalf. However, when the other event wrapped up early, Church, his wife Katherine and his assistant decided to make the hour-and-a-half drive to the Gem Theater in Kannapolis, N.C., where the ceremony was taking place.
When they arrived at the theater, Church's mother was onstage accepting his award -- and no one knew they were coming, and they had no way in. According to a press release, that's when Church's manager broke in through a backstage balcony door, found a ladder and told the Granite Falls, N.C., native to climb down and get onstage.
Church did just that, surprising not only the assembled crowd but also his mother, who was mid-speech. After thanking the audience, the singer-songwriter performed a solo version of "Carolina," the title track of his second studio album, released in 2009 ... and then headed home.
In addition to Church, Gerald Alston, lead singer of the Manhattans; Chuck Jackson, singer of “Any Day Now” and “I Don’t Want to Cry;” Warren Haynes, Allman Brothers guitarist and Gov’t Mule founding member; and the Fantastic Shakers, a Carolina beach music band, were all inducted as part of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. Three more musicians received the honor posthumously: Jay Spell, who performed with Ronnie Milsap and Jimmy Buffett; Nappy Brown, a well-known blues and R&B singer; and Rev. F.C. Barnes, a gospel singer-songwriter who wrote “Rough Side of the Mountain.”
Other well-known inductees into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame include Clay Aiken, Del Reeves, producer Tony Brown, Stonewall Jackson, Charlie Daniels, Earl Scruggs, Milsap, James Taylor, Doc Watson, Ben Folds and Ben E. King.
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