Eric Church might consider himself an outsider to the machinations of Music Row, but he has connected to millions of fans all across the globe. It's no surprise then that his 2015 Outsiders World Tour sits atop Billboard Hot Tours recap, as revealed in a statement on Friday (April 17). The bit of news couldn't come at a better time: this Sunday's (April 19) Academy of Country Music Awards sees the rock-country titan vying for Entertainer of the Year.
With more than 60 cities mapped and performed and over 725,000 tickets sold, Church has, remarkably, blazed his own trail. Along the way, he set attendance records, including at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., when more than 18,000 fans came out to rock 'n roll with the trendsetter.
Church, also equipped with an Album of the Year nod (for his genre-defying The Outsiders LP), faces off against Miranda Lambert, the blazing hit-making duo Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan for the Entertainer title. The winner will be determined from a combination of academy member and fan votes. Fans can continue voting for their favorite until the final hour of the awards show.
Church is also up for Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year, for his No. 1 hit "Give Me Back My Hometown" (co-written with industry songwriting heavy weight Luke Laird).
Bryan and Blake Shelton are set to return to the hosting perch for the 50th ACM Awards, live from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It will be broadcast on the CBS Network at 8/7c. Check your local listings for more.