Sometimes nicknames are acquired by doing something astounding— or incredibly stupid. Other times, people mispronounce a name one time and the new name sticks like glue. Every nickname has its own origin story, so how did Eric Church unintentionally inherit “The Chief” as his go-to title?
To find the answer, we must rewind to many years ago to when Church’s country career was just beginning. Back when the North Carolina native was still playing gigs at local bars and clubs, he began wearing sunglasses and a hat to shield his eyes from the stage’s bright lights. The new accessories helped prompt the artist’s brand new identity.
“I wore contacts, where this all started, the initial inception was, my contacts would fall out, pop out on stage, and I would be blind for half the show, so I started wearing sunglasses, then I put on a hat to stop the sweat and it just became this thing, and we got in bigger venues, I tried to adjust that, but people in the crowds would have on hats and sunglasses and wouldn’t let me adjust that, so it just became this thing naturally,” Eric recently explained to Sounds Like Nashville. “So, [when it] was show time, it was kind of my uniform. The band starting joking with me, when I put the hat and sunglasses on, they go ‘Alright, it’s Chief time, Chief’s here.’ But I laughed about it, it was a joke.”
Interestingly enough, Eric was not the first member of his family to be dubbed “The Chief.” Eric’s grandfather had also been called “The Chief” during his tenure as the Chief of Police in Granite Falls, North Carolina. As you might recall, Eric Church’s third record is titled Chief in honor of his late grandfather. Sometimes life is crazy and gifts people with truly beautiful scenarios. The fact that Eric randomly ended up with the same nickname as his grandpa is truly remarkable.
Be sure to visit the star’s official website to see where you can catch his next live performance— sunglasses and all! Also share this factual tidbit with other country music fans.