Eric Church never expected to win a CMA Award. But last week, he picked up his very first award for Album of the Year for his Chief album. Backstage after accepting his trophy, he reflected on the journey it took to achieve the honor.
“Our path’s been a little bit different,” he said. “I distinctly remember playing for about eight people in Amarillo, Texas, about four years ago, and to go from there to here is quite surreal. A lot of it I owe to the fans.”
As discouraging as it was to play for small crowds while struggling to have his music played on radio, Eric didn’t give up. “The only way we could get our music out there was to keep playing shows,” he said. “In doing it that way, we laid this foundation. I think when radio started to come on board and the industry started to come on board, it made it that much sweeter.”
While the award for Album of the Year is special, it’s what it means to others that means most to Eric. “It’s not something that I think about for me,” he said. “I’ve never put a lot weight on awards, but I’ve always wanted it for the people who believed in me from the very beginning that have been so passionate about what we do.”
Eric is currently on his Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour, which runs through December.