Eric Church is one of the most popular musicians and songwriters in contemporary country music right now. Ever since his debut album Sinners Like Me, he's had multiple number one hits on the country billboards including "Drink in My Hand" and "The Only Way I Know" with Jason Aldean. The superstar won Album of the Year with Chief (and a Grammy nom, AMA Favorite Country Album for The Outsiders, and was even honored with a CMT Artists of the Year Award. From dive bars to music festivals like Lollapalooza, Church is popular among a wide array of fans and should be on everyone's country music playlist. Right up there with some of the other greats like Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.
Here are some things you might have not known about the Mr. Misunderstood singer.
1. He got his start performing in high school
After teaching himself how to play the guitar at the young age of 13, Church got a gig at a local bar where he first got a taste of what it's like to perform.
2. He graduated college before hitting Nashville
The Granite Falls, North Carolina native earned himself a marketing degree from Appalachian State University before moving to Music City. Soon after he signed with Sony Music.
3. Eric is his middle name
Born Kenneth Eric Church, the country singer decided that "Eric" rolled off the tongue a bit better.
4. There's a practical reason behind his iconic sunglasses
Church wears contacts and the bright stage lights were drying them out. Someone suggested he wear sunglasses and it solved the problem! And created a really cool look in the process.
Read More: The 10 Best Eric Church Songs
5. He carries a specific list on stage with him
Not just any list, but the list of people who held him back during his career. For example, he was fired from a Rascal Flatts tour early on in his career. I guess there's nothing like reminding yourself that you pushed through and made it to the top anyways.
6. He helped Taylor Swift get a big break
When the country music singer was fired from the Rascal Flatts tour, they chose Swift to take his place. Church joked with the young singer that she would owe him her first gold record but she followed through. She sent him one of her first gold records with the note, "Thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it, Taylor."
7. He keeps his family life private
Church married Katherine Blasingame, a music publisher and they share two sons: Boone McCoy Church and Tennessee Hawkins Church. The country artist and his wife even started their own charity, The Chief Cares Fund which helps underprivileged families get clothes, linens and education.
8. He loves his Weed
Church is well known for being pro-cannabis to the point where it was even a joke at the ACM Awards. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan said that Church was the modern day Willie Nelson, joking that his dressing room looked like a dispensary.