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Carolyn Kruse

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In honor of the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year’s birthday today, here are 5 things you may not have known about Eric Church.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images


1. Eric is his middle name

Kenneth is his first name, but Eric liked the sound of his middle name better, so went with that.


2. Chief holds a degree in marketing

He promised his dad he would finish college, if his dad would agree to take care of Eric, financially, for 6 months to try and make it as a musician in Nashville. He did earn his degree in marketing at Appalachia State University.

Eric Church Remembers 9/11 Like It Was Yesterday

3. There’s a reason behind the iconic shades

Church apparently started wearing sunglasses because he wore contacts and had a hard time with the bright lights on stage. His contacts would fall out from squinting. The shades soon became his trademark.


4. Eric Helped give Taylor Swift her first big break (indirectly)

Back in 2006  he was opening for Rascal Flatts and kept breaking the time-on-stage rules, going over on a regular basis. Rascal Flatts fired Eric and replaced him with then relatively unknown, Taylor Swift. Church told Arizona Daily Star, “I joked with her, saying ‘This is your crowd; they’re going to love you. You’re going to owe me your first gold record,’ I was kidding, but when she got her first gold record she gave me one. It came with a note: ‘Thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it, Taylor.'”

Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images 

5. He shares his nickname with his late grandfather

Chief is the name of Eric’s Church iconic 2011 album, but he actually got his nickname after he started wearing sunglasses on stage, people started calling him “Chief” because they thought he looked like a police officer. It turns out that’s what his maternal grandfather was also called. He was the Chief of Police in Eric’s hometown of Granite Falls, NC, so everyone called him “chief.”


Happy 44th birthday Eric Church! Can’t wait to see him in December at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am! Click HERE for info and tickets.


Watch this video for Eric Church’s latest “Hell of a View”

Eric Church - Hell Of A View (In Studio Performance)

The official studio video for Eric Church's "Hell Of A View" Subscribe to this channel more official videos from Eri...

Carolyn Kruse Country 102.5 midday personality 9am-2pm Boston