Eric Church grew up in Granite Falls, N.C., and began playing guitar and writing songs as a young teenager; by the time he was a senior in high school, the future country star was performing at a local bar in his hometown. Church attended college at Appalachian State University and graduated with a business degree before moving to Nashville to become a songwriter; he co-penned Terri Clark’s “The World Needs a Drink” and Dean Miller’s “Whiskey Wings,” among others. Although Church initially did not intend to be a solo artist, he recorded his own demos, which convinced Capitol Records to give him a record deal. Church’s debut album, 'Sinners Like Me', was released in 2006 and included three Top 20 singles. That same year, he joined Rascal Flatts as the opening act on their Me and My Gang Tour but was famously replaced by newcomer Taylor Swift after refusing to follow some rules. In 2009, the singer-songwriter released his sophomore album, 'Carolina', but it wasn’t until his third record, 2011's 'Chief', that Church earned his first No. 1 hit, “Drink in My Hand.” 'Chief' also earned Church both the ACM and CMA Awards for Album of the Year and has been certified platinum, as has his 2014 record, 'The Outsiders'. Church has been married to his wife, Katherine Blasingame, since 2008 and is the father of two boys, Boone McCoy and Tennessee Hawkins.
Eric Church Says 'Chief' Album Marked a Career Turning Point
The sunglass-wearing, no-holds-barred musician listeners now know and love didn't fully come into his own until one pivotal point in his career.
Country Music Memories: Eric Church Releases 'Chief'
On July 26, 2011, Church's 'Chief' album was released.
Top 10 Country + Americana Albums of 2021 (So Far)
Including Thomas Rhett, Eric Church, Loretta Lynn and more.
Eric Church's 'Sinners Like Me': All the Songs, Ranked
Did we get it right?
Country Music Memories: Eric Church Releases His Debut Album
On July 18, 2006, Church's freshman album, 'Sinners Like Me', was released on Capitol Nashville.
George Strait and Eric Church Booked for Atlanta's ATLive 2021
Strait and Church will kick off the two-day event in November.
Eric Church Remembers Young Love in Passionate 'Heart on Fire'
It's a passionate song about burning desire and deep regret.
Country Stars' Side Hustles: 14 Artists Who Do More Than Sing
These country stars have cooking shows, clothing stores and more!
LISTEN: Eric Church Was Fired, But He Kinda Deserved It
The act, the banishment and the rising of Eric Church are all part of Episode 3 of the 'The Secret History of Country Music' podcast.