North Carolina native Eric Church aka Chief just turned 40 on May 3rd— that’s four decades of awesomeness to review! His musical ambitions began at the tender age of 13 when he started writing his own songs. Throughout his career, Church has shown off his top-notch artistic abilities and all-around solid personality. Let’s check out some of his most wickedly awesome moments…
15. He and wife Katherine Blasingame named their two sons Boone McCoy and Tennessee Hawkins.
Eric and Katherine certainly went Southern for their baby name inspiration and did a great job picking out unique names. Their eldest son Boone McCoy and they really outdid themselves by naming their second son Tennessee Hawkins or “Hawk” for short.
11. He performed a concert by himself in Utah when his whole band was out sick.
At a Salt Lake City show, Eric Church faced a challenging situation— his whole band was out sick with the stomach flu. The show was going to be cancelled, and the thousands of fans would be disappointed. Instead, Church performed a stripped-down version of the show as a solo concert. He also promised to return for a free show on Memorial Day. Check out this quick clip of Church’s solo version of “Put a Drink in my Hand”:
10. That time he took the high road.
Back in 2012, Eric Church made some thoughtless comments about Blake Shelton to Rolling Stone. Shelton and then-wife Miranda Lambert shot back. They claimed Church was biting the hand that fed him. After all, he toured with the pair for two years when he was relatively unknown. Church responded respectfully by admitting he was in the wrong and apologizing for his comment. Way to take the high road, Eric!
9. He successfully made a secret movie right before our eyes.
Have you ever heard of San Destino Rising? Church revealed that the music videos from his The Outsiders album led up to the release of a film that connects all of his songs. This type of artistic experiment had never been attempted in country music before. That’s pretty darn impressive.
8. He’s genuinely country…
Eric Church doesn’t just wear a cowboy hat for looks or sing about trucks to appear country. This singer actually lives it. He hunts, fishes, and is an all-around outdoorsman in general. He even stated that he once wrote about 20 songs while cutting down trees on his land.
7. … yet he can also headline rock festivals.
Most country artists don’t leave the mold of country music. They don’t typically play at music festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza… but Eric Church has. The singer held his ground at the Austin City Limits festival in 2014 with an alternative-heavy performance.
6. He is actively waging war against scalpers and bootleggers.
Eric Church has canceled thousands of concert tickets that were nabbed by scalpers. He is currently suing several scalpers and makers of bootleg merchandise. His fans deserve the best!
“I’ve been told to raise my prices. But there are guys out there that want to come to a show and bring their family to a show and are working a blue-collar job, they were there for us in bars and clubs, so I should raise to $100 because that’s what the scalpers think? I refuse to believe that,” Church said in an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2014.
5. He collects chainsaws.
Church doesn’t settle for boring baseball cards or lame stamp collections. The Country singer and outdoorsman enjoys felling trees and even finds it calming. Therefore, he owns seven chainsaws! Yep, seven. That’s way more than any of us ever need for a lifetime! But his collection gets used quite often. He has six Stihls and one Husqvarna that he uses on his 700-acre Nashville property.
4. Oh yeah, and that time he broke two records in one show!
Church played at the Allstate Arena in Chicago back in March where he and his fans worked together to break two records. The first was an attendance record with 18,626 fans in attendance at the concert, the arena held more than it ever had before. The second record smashed an alcohol consumption record. Church inspired fans to drink more than 55 gallons of Jack Daniels, especially with his hit song “Put a Drink in My Hand.” That sounds like quite the show!
3. He is down-to-earth with his fan base.
The diehard fans of Eric Church call themselves part of his “Church Choir.” Before every show, Church walks around the arena to take in the scene and pump himself up for the show. At the shows, he engages with his fans and is known to take requests or autograph souvenirs while onstage.
2. He rewards devoted fans with upgraded tickets.
Before every show, Eric Church has a team that engages with fans to find someone deserving of upgraded seats. Most of the time, they hand out pit tickets for those diehard fans.
1. He has a giving heart.
In 2013, Church and his wife formed Chief Cares. The charity provides aid to children around the world, even providing beds and clothing to an orphanage in Nepal. Besides people, the organization also helps animals by providing funding to support no-kill shelters for the Humane Society in the United States.
Don’t forget to share these badass moments with other Eric Church fans!