Eric Church
Eric Church
Photo courtesy of John Peets

Eric Church was born in North Carolina in 1977 and started playing guitar at the young age of 13. Since that time, he has worked his way up the ranks finally, breaking out in 2006 with his first hit single “How ‘Bout You.” The song ended up being big enough to allow him to perform at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time that year. With four studio albums and five number one singles, Church has established himself as one of country music’s hottest new stars.

When Church was a kid, he wrote his own songs starting at the age of 13, and was performing at a local bar by the time he was a senior in high school. He played his own original songs, mixed with Jimmy Buffet covers, and was working on trying to catch a break in the tough world of country music. He actually was engaged to be married, but when his fiance's father tried to convince him to take on a corporate career, he rejected it for his music. So she broke off the engagement and Church headed to Nashville.

While in Nashville, Church started out his career by writing songs. He penned the Terri Clark single “The World Needs a Drink” and Dean Miller’s track “Whiskey Wings.” He started recording with different producers, and when he joined up with Jay Joyce, he was able to hone his writing skills into songs that convinced Capitol Nashville to sign him. His debut album, Sinners Like Me, hit in 2006 and reached seventh on the U.S. country charts and 29th on the Billboard album charts. The gold certified album also included three top 20 songs.

Church won the ACM Top New Solo Vocalist award for that debut release. With inspirations from country outlaws such as Waylon Jennings, he set out to help start his career as a new-era outlaw country star. That new direction really launched in 2009 with the release of his new album Carolina and presented Church with his first ever top 10 hit with “Love Your Love the Most.”

The album was his second top 10 album, hitting fourth on the country charts and 17th on the Billboard charts. That album featured two top 10 singles, both certified gold, and a third single that hit 16th on the country charts while certified platinum. It seemed that Church had reached the pinnacle of success, but the fact is that the best was yet to come.

In 2010, Church released the biggest and most successful album of his career with Chief. This album didn’t just hit the top of the U.S. country charts, but also hit number one on the Billboard albums chart. It sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. and went platinum. There were five singles released from the album, including two number one hits in “Springsteen” and “Drink in My Hand.” Chief won the CMA Album of the Year award, the 2013 ACM Album of the Year award and “Springsteen” won the 2012 ACM Song of the Year award.

Eric Church is now on tour for his follow-up album The Outsiders, which also hit number one on both the country music and Billboard charts while reaching platinum status. The 2014 album included the single “Give Me Back My Hometown” and picked up four CMA nominations, won the AMA award for Favorite Country Album, and picked up four Grammy Awards. Even though he has enjoyed immense success already, it seems as if the best is yet to come for Eric Church and his impressive career.