Country singer/songwriter Eric Church was the recent guest for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held at The Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Church discussed topics such as songwriting, the significance of Recording Academy membership, music education, advice for young musicians, and his latest album, Chief, and the album's No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200.
"It was insane," said Church on Chief's debut atop the Billboard 200. "Everybody has expectations, but it far exceeded any expectations I had. It really restored my faith in the power of the people [and] in making records and it being about music. People believed enough in the record [and] that week they became the ambassadors for it."
Hailing from Granite Falls, N.C., Church began writing songs and taught himself how to play guitar at age 13. While in college at Appalachian State University, Church formed a band, the Mountain Boys, and upon graduation moved to Nashville where he landed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree, subsequently writing songs for other artists, including Terri Clark's "The World Needs A Drink," which he co-wrote with Casey Beathard. Church eventually met producer Jay Joyce and the two started recording demos, landing Church a record deal with Capitol Records Nashville. Church's debut album, 2006's Sinners Like Me, cracked the Top 30 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. Carolina followed in 2009, peaking at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the gold-certified singles "Love Your Love The Most" and "Smoke A Little Smoke." In April Church was honored as the Top New Solo Vocalist of the Year at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Released in July, Chief debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts, marking the first time a traditional country artist has garnered a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 without having a previous No. 1 hit single since Tim McGraw's 1994 album Not A Moment Too Soon. Church is currently on tour throughout the United States.
Come back to GRAMMY.com next week to view Eric Church's exclusive performance at The Recording Academy.
Click on the "5 Questions With ... interviews" tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.
These are the most read, shared and discussed articles on GRAMMY.com right now.