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.

Keith Urban Launching U.S. “Raise ‘Em Up” Tour

Posted On July 17, 2014

(Undated) -- Keith Urban is back on the road. After launching his "Raise 'Em Up" tour over the weekend in Canada, the country star is now bringing his trek to the U.S., and will play his first show on this side of the border in Atlantic City, New Jersey Thursday night. Jerrod Niemann and Brett…

Justin Moore Explains Signing On For Miranda Lambert’s Tour

Posted On July 16, 2014

(Nashville, TN) -- Justin Moore admits he wasn't planning on touring this summer, much less taking an opening spot on somebody else's trek. But the country star says when Miranda Lambert asked him to join her "Platinum" tour, it was a tough offer to turn down.   Justin says it's also possible he and Miranda…

Rascal Flatts Embrace Different Sounds On “Rewind”

Posted On July 16, 2014

(Nashville, TN) -- Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney says he and his bandmates really pushed themselves with their latest album. The country star explains that they embraced sounds and recorded songs for "Rewind" that they likely would have previously rejected.   The band's Jay DeMarcus says he thinks their current single, "Payback," is an example…

LeAnn Rimes Launching TV Series, Making Holiday Plans

Posted On July 16, 2014

(Undated) -- LeAnn Rimes is coming to a TV near you. "LeAnn & Eddie," the country star's new reality series with husband Eddie Cibrian, debuts on VH1 Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Rimes tells "Yahoo" it's a "family friendly" show with no "cringe-worthy" moments she wouldn't want her stepsons to see. But she says it's…

Wynonna Set For “Hollywood Game Night,” Dodgers Game

Posted On July 16, 2014

(Undated) -- Wynonna Judd is taking time for a little bit of fun. The country singer will be among the celebrities featured on NBC's "Hollywood Game Night." Wy will join Scott Foley, Leah Remini, and other stars in helping the contestants win cash prizes on the episode, airing this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Next…