In August 2011 The Recording Academy sat down with chart-topping country artist Eric Church for an installment of its 5 Questions With … series. Following his recent nomination for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, Church participated in another installment of 5 Questions With …. In an intimate interview setting, Church discussed being nominated for a GRAMMY, his song "Drink In My Hand" and reflected on his career since the release of his GRAMMY-nominated album, Chief.
"The Chief record changed everything in my career and my life," said Church. "Sometimes you feel like you're beating your head against the wall for six or seven years and it's like all of a sudden in the last six months, we're a six-year overnight success."
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Hailing from Granite Falls, N.C., Church began writing songs and taught himself how to play guitar at age 13. Upon graduating from college at Appalachian State University, Church moved to Nashville where he landed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree and penned songs for other artists, including Terri Clark's "The World Needs A Drink," which he co-wrote with Casey Beathard. Church then met producer Jay Joyce and the two began recording demos, landing Church a record deal with Capitol Records Nashville. Church's debut album, 2006's Sinners Like Me, peaked at No. 29 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."
Released in July 2011, 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. The album garnered Church his first GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album.