Eric Church grew up in Granite Falls, N.C., and began playing guitar and writing songs as a young teenager; by the time he was a senior in high school, the future country star was performing at a local bar in his hometown. Church attended college at Appalachian State University and graduated with a business degree before moving to Nashville to become a songwriter; he co-penned Terri Clark’s “The World Needs a Drink” and Dean Miller’s “Whiskey Wings,” among others. Although Church initially did not intend to be a solo artist, he recorded his own demos, which convinced Capitol Records to give him a record deal. Church’s debut album, 'Sinners Like Me', was released in 2006 and included three Top 20 singles. That same year, he joined Rascal Flatts as the opening act on their Me and My Gang Tour but was famously replaced by newcomer Taylor Swift after refusing to follow some rules. In 2009, the singer-songwriter released his sophomore album, 'Carolina', but it wasn’t until his third record, 2011's 'Chief', that Church earned his first No. 1 hit, “Drink in My Hand.” 'Chief' also earned Church both the ACM and CMA Awards for Album of the Year and has been certified platinum, as has his 2014 record, 'The Outsiders'. Church has been married to his wife, Katherine Blasingame, since 2008 and is the father of two boys, Boone McCoy and Tennessee Hawkins.
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