Artist of the Month


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

Click here to nominate the Eagle 99.3 Artist of the Month for August.

BlackHawk Returns With New Single

Posted On June 03, 2014

(Undated) -- BlackHawk is back. The country group premiered their new single, "Heart With A View," on Billboard.com Tuesday.   "Heart With A View" is BlackHawk's first release in 12 years, and will be on the group's upcoming CD. Frontman Henry Paul tells "Billboard" the song dates back to the early days of the band,…

Brad Paisley Westboro Selfie Sparks Reaction

Posted On June 03, 2014

(Undated) -- Country star Brad Paisley is getting a lot of attention for his recent selfie with members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Paisley took a picture with the persistent protesters outside of his concert in Kansas City, Missouri Sunday and later added the caption: "Westboro Baptist Selfie!! Or west-Burro (ass) selfie." But the group,…

Country Stars Participating In Concerts, Other Events For Charity

Posted On June 03, 2014

(Undated)  --  A number of country stars are lending their time and talents Tuesday to a variety of worthy causes.  Both Darius Rucker and John Rich are raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley and Randy Houser are among the stars who'll help Rucker wrap up his two-day "Darius and…

Taylor Swift Calls Next Album Her “Favorite” Yet

Posted On June 02, 2014

(Undated) -- Taylor Swift says the wheels are already turning for her next album. During a press conference in Shanghai over the weekend, the country star said there is an upside to closing the final leg of her "Red" tour in Asia.   She added that she's "very excited" to know she'll soon be returning…

Tim McGraw Believes Paparazzi Should Have Limits

Posted On June 02, 2014

(Nashville, TN) -- Tim McGraw says he agrees that the paparazzi should have to work with certain restrictions. The country star explains that he and wife Faith Hill accept that they're targets for the camera's lens, but other family members should be off limits.   McGraw adds that even celebrities should be allowed to occasionally…