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Artist of the Month

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Eric Church

Country singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Church grew up in Granite Falls, North Carolina, and began singing as a child. At 13, he started writing songs, later teaching himself to play guitar. While attending college at Appalachian State, he formed a band, the Mountain Boys, that played around western North Carolina. After graduating with a degree in marketing, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in country music. It took him a year to get a song publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree, after which he started getting his songs recorded by other artists, an example being Terri Clark’s version of “The World Needs a Drink.” He met producer Jay Joyce, who took an interest in him as a recording artist, and they began making demos. That led to his being signed by Capitol Records Nashville. His debut single, “How ‘Bout You,” was released in early 2006, and it had reached the country Top 20 by the time Capitol released his first album, Sinners Like Me, on July 18, 2006. The album was both a critical and commercial success, and Church followed it up with Carolina in 2009, in which he swung for the contemporary country fences and hit them, scoring two Top Ten singles on the country charts with “Love Your Love the Most” (certified gold), and “Hell on the Heart.” He scored another gold single with “Smoke a Little Smoke” in 2010. He won Top New Solo Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards for that calendar year. After extensive touring, Church released the Caldwell County EP in January of 2011, which reached the number 13 position on the Billboard country chart, as did the single “Homeboy.” Church followed with the album Chief in July.

Chief wound up as Church’s entry into superstardom. Upon its July 2011 release it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart and soon afterward “Drink in My Hand” climbed to the top of the charts, becoming Church’s first number one single. Its popularity was eclipsed in the summer of 2012 by “Springsteen,” a ballad that also reached number one on the country charts but also crossed over to the pop Top 20. Two other singles were pulled from Chief — “Creepin’” and “Like Jesus Does” — and the album won Album of the Year at the 2012 Country Music Academy Awards. Early in 2013, Church released the live set Caught in the Act, which was recorded at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October of 2012; the album debuted at five on the Billboard 200. Church spent the rest of 2013 working on his fourth studio album. The first taste of this new album was the heavy rock of “The Outsiders,” a single that turned out to be the album’s title track. Preceded by the second single “Give Me Back My Hometown,” The Outsiders arrived to considerable anticipation and acclaim in February 2014. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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Garth Brooks’ Chicago Concert Tickets Going On Sale

Posted On July 25, 2014

(Undated) -- Garth Brooks fans in Chicago can start making plans to see the country superstar. Tickets for his upcoming concert at the Allstate Arena on September 4th go on sale Friday. They'll cost a total of 65-dollars-and 50-cents, and on Friday will only be available from Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster Express by phone or online…

Kenny Rogers To Help Open New Exhibit About Him

Posted On July 24, 2014

(Nashville, TN) -- Kenny Rogers isn't just the subject of an upcoming exhibit in Nashville -- he'll be on hand for the opening. The singer is slated to appear at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for a special interview event in conjunction with the launch of "Kenny Rogers: Through the Years." Displays…

Billy Currington Realizing Potential Of Latest Single

Posted On July 24, 2014

(Nashville, TN) -- Billy Currington says "We Are Tonight" has become one of the highlights of his concerts. But the country star admits it didn't happen instantly. He says he recognized the song's power the moment he heard it, but the single had to climb the chart before he began to realize its potential.  …

Brantley Gilbert Performing — Not Driving — At Brickyard 400

Posted On July 24, 2014

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Brantley Gilbert says he's looking forward to performing at the Brickyard 400's Brickfest Music Festival this weekend. But the country star admits he'd like to take part in the event in another capacity as well.   Gilbert is the second day headliner at Brickfest. He'll cap off the music at the Indianapolis…

Justin Moore Excited About Upcoming NASCAR Race

Posted On July 24, 2014

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Justin Moore says he's looking forward to this weekend's NASCAR race. The country star will once again take part in the festivities surrounding the Brickyard 400, including performing at the Brickfest Music Festival. But he says it's particularly meaningful to him to help recognize veterans through Crown Royal's "Your Hero's Name Here"…