Details You Never Knew About Eric Church

Eric Church has become one of the biggest names in modern country music, and rightfully so. The singer-songwriter has given fans some amazing hit songs such as "Springsteen," "Heart On Fire," "Drink in My Hand," "Talladega," "Record Year," "Mr. Misunderstood," "Round Here Buzz," and many more. Church developed a love for music at an early age and wrote his first song when he was just 13 years old (via Absolute Radio). Of course, there is much more to know about the beloved country music star.

Church got his big break in 2005 when he was signed by Capitol Nashville and released his debut album. He's had the honor of performing at the Grand Ole Opry and has toured with other country heavy hitters such as Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley. The singer is also a family man, sharing two sons, Boone McCoy and Tennessee Hawkins, with his wife, music publisher Katherine Blasingame.

While fans may recognize Church's signature sunglasses, raspy voice, and hit tunes, they may not know some of the most interesting facts about the crooner.

Eric Church isn't his real name

Although country music fans likely know Eric Church's name well, many fans might not be aware that Eric isn't actually his legal first name (via Smooth Radio). Over the years, the singer has adopted his middle name as his most-used moniker after being named Kenneth after his father. Perhaps the use of his middle name was to differentiate him from his dad within the family or daily conversation, or maybe he simply preferred going by the name Eric. Either way, he's known as Eric to his masses of fans, and the name rolls a bit better off the tongue in the entertainment industry. 

Meanwhile, Chuch has also earned the nickname Chief due to his big stage presence and the fact that he's always wearing sunglasses. Ironically, it's a nickname he shares with his grandfather, who was the Chief of Police in the star's hometown of Granite Falls, North Carolina. "How I am during the day is nothing like I am onstage," the singer told Country Living of the nickname (via Outsider). "It's two different guys. That's where Chief came from ... when the hat and the sunglasses go on, I can be a different person," he added.

The singer also uses the name for his charity Chief Cares. The organization is dedicated to helping those in need around the globe by focusing on aiding underprivileged families, animal shelters, and more.

Why does Eric Church always wear sunglasses?

Over the years, plenty of celebrities have created iconic signature looks. Ariana Grande has her high ponytail, Gwen Stefani always rocks her red lipstick, and Eric Church is rarely seen without his sunglasses. However, when the singer started rocking his iconic shades, he never meant for it to become his own stylish calling card. In fact, he had a very practical reason for sporting the sunglasses.

Church has previously explained that his sensitive eyes don't do well with the bright lights of the stage and that his contacts would become too dry as his performances went on. After someone suggested that he wear sunglasses, he never looked back.

"I wear contacts, and my eyes don't do real well with lubrication, but we would play all these bars and clubs," he explained during an interview with Mike Adam On Air. "The [stage] lights — I'm 6'3" — so they would bake my contacts, and they'd fall off. So I ended up being blind on stage." He continued, "Someone suggested glasses, and it worked. What's funny is it stuck. It was never thought out. We never thought, 'This would be good.' We actually at the time thought, 'This is not good' ... but it ended up being a thing," he added.

Eric Church is multi-talented

Eric Church may be one of the most talented country music stars in the game today, but he's more than just a singer and songwriter. In fact, in addition to his musical abilities, the star also has an array of other interests. Church went to college, where he graduated with a degree in marketing from Appalachian State University. It appears that the "Homeboy" singer had a plan for life before he decided to go on the wild ride of becoming a country music superstar. He even revealed to Rolling Stone that he would likely be coaching high school basketball if it wasn't for his music career.

Chuch's love for basketball stems back to his younger days when he played the sport in high school, where he also showed off his athletic skills in other sports like baseball and football. He even played golf, but he had an ulterior motive for that move. "I realized that if you were a golfer, you got to leave at 10 a.m. to go to matches," he told Greensboro (via Taste of Country). "You didn't have to be at school all day, and, well, that's me right there (laughs). So I picked up golf real quick when I realized you got to get out of class," he added.

How Eric Church helped give Taylor Swift her big break

While Eric Church has taken over country music, his longtime friend and fellow singer Taylor Swift has also conquered the music game with her multi-genre hit songs and incredible fanbase. However, when Swift was just starting out, Church inadvertently helped her career in a big way. In 2006, Church was on tour with Rascal Flatts when he got fired from the tour for being a bit rebellious and playing too loud and long for the band's liking. After Church's exit, Swift took his spot as the opener, which helped launch her iconic career.

"She wanted to make sure there was no bad blood. She had just had the 'Tim McGraw' song. I joked with her and said, 'You owe me your first gold album.' Four days later ... sure enough, she came to a show of mine, and she had [a gold album]. I still have it," Church said at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville (via The Tennessean). "It's in the Hall of Fame, I think. It said, 'Eric, thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Rascal Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it,'" he added.

Although Church didn't finish the tour with Rascal Flatts, he went on to do great things with his career, as did Swift.

Eric Church suffered a medical emergency in 2017

In 2017, Eric Church went through a horrific ordeal when he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his chest that threatened his life, resulting in emergency surgery. The singer reveals that he suffered from tingling in his hand and lost mobility in his fingers before noticing that his arm was red and swollen.

"There's a major vein that runs through there, and when I would raise my arm, it would pinch it and damage the vein," Church explained to Rolling Stone. "The clot was where it tried to heal. But it kept backing up, backing up. And like any clot, when you get enough pressure, it's gonna blow." The singer admits that he was thinking about his family and friends during the ordeal, but also his tour and fans. After the first operation, Church went back under the knife to have his top rib removed and spent several months recovering and undergoing physical therapy.

Thankfully, Church recovered from the medical emergency and was able to resume his former lifestyle of playing guitar, entertaining his fans, and being a loving husband and father to his wife and kids.