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The three-time Country Music Association and five-time Academy of Country Music Award winner cemented his reputation as a maverick by releasing his 2015 album Mr. Misunderstood as a surprise, delivering it to fans before announcing its existence and putting it on sale. He is rising toward the peak of the country charts with “Record Year,” the second single, which Rolling Stone dubbed “the most moving moment” on the widely lauded album.
Church announced his 60+ city 2017 Holdin’ My Own Tour via Facebook Live at a two-night show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo. The tour, that kicks off in Lincoln, Neb. and ends with a two-night run in Nashville, Tenn., will feature two sets from Church sans openers.
The man New York Times said produces songs that insist music is “fuel for love, for anguish and, naturally, for other music” earned the 2016 CMA Album of the Year Award for Mr. Misunderstood and the 2016 ACM Music Video of the Year Award for the album’s first title-track single.
The North Carolina native’s previous album, The Outsiders, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and Top Country Albums Chart with the highest debut and sales of any release in the format that year, making Church 2014’s top-selling country music artist. The album garnered GRAMMY, CMA and ACM Album of the Year nominations and featured his No. 1 hits “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Talladega,” as well as multiple nominee “Like A Wrecking Ball.” The Outsiders was the follow-up to Church’s 3x Platinum-certified CHIEF, named the 2012 Album of the Year by both CMA and ACM, and GRAMMY-nominated for Best Country Album. The LP featured five Top 20 singles: “Homeboy” (certified Platinum for sales in excess of one million); the Top 10 “Like Jesus Does” and the Top 5 “Creepin’” (both certified Platinum); and two No. 1 hits “Drink in My Hand” (certified Platinum) and “Springsteen” (certified Double Platinum for sales in excess of 2 million singles). Church’s sophomore album, Carolina, (2009) is RIAA Platinum certified and his 2006 debut album, Sinners Like Me is RIAA Gold certified.

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CMA AWARDS 2019: Album of the Year

The nominees for this year’s CMA Album of the Year include Eric Church for Desperate Man and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty.

Eric’s sixth studio album, Desperate Man, marked the end of the longest break in his career between putting out new music. In the three years since the sudden, surprise release of Mr. Misunderstood (named 2016 CMA Album of the Year), though, he has experienced some of the highest peaks and some of the biggest challenges in his work and in his life. He got a sense of where the album was headed after writing “The Snake” and “Hippie Radio.” Eric also earned nods for both Entertainer and Music Video of the Year (for “Some of It”).

Carrie tallied her fifth nomination for CMA Album of the Year with Cry Pretty, which is her first studio album on Capitol Records Nashville and marks the first time she has co-produced her own album. The lead single and title track, “Cry Pretty” debuted as the #1 song in the U.S. all-genres. Carrie co-produced Cry Pretty with fellow writer/producer David Garcia. Carrie is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year and picked up her 14th consecutive nod for Female Vocalist, a title she’s won five times, including last year.

Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, Dan + Shay’s self-titled album and Maren Morris’s Girl round out the category.

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (November 13th) at 8pm ET on ABC.

Audio / Eric Church says Desperate Man was the hardest record he’s ever made.

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Eric Church (hardest record to make) OC: …we ended up. 1:20
“Well I think, really from the last tour, the Holding My Own Tour, I realized that I am very grateful and humble that we get to do what we do. To go on every night, no openers and play for three hours, and see the way music has affected people lives, and they have affected mine. But it has turned into this thing, its own, living breathing organism that happened. And coming off of that, the biggest fear that I had was I didn’t just want to go back into the studio and make a record just because it was time to make a record. And I had some stuff going on. I mean, I had a personal thing with my health, and then I had, then Vegas happened and that will be with me forever. So, I think there was stuff that I had to process on the early part of making this record. And frankly, it made it difficult early. I mean it was tough. It was the toughest record that I’ve made out of all of them. It’s funny, it’s just like anything you do creatively, when you think this is what it’s going to be, this where we are headed, I promise you, were headed here. This is where you are going. Creativity will take over and you will end up on another path and that’s what happened here. And to credit, I think, the way we make records, or try to make records, is we will pay attention to that. We will change course, and we are not afraid to change course. So, I think for me, my favorite thing about this album, is I know where we started and where we ended up.”

Audio / Carrie Underwood says there was a lot of growth between her previous album, Storyteller, and her new collection, Cry Pretty.

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Carrie Underwood (growth between albums) OC: …writing about. 1:07
“I feel like between Storyteller and Cry Pretty, there was definitely a lot of growth for me as a person – emotional growth and spiritual growth and my family. And I feel like just kind of taking more ownership in my thoughts and my feelings and my wants and my creative abilities and just taking more ownership over all of those things and wanting that to translate into this album. I like to take time between projects. It’s like when do you have time to live the life you’re writing about? It’s so important to me. I like to go on tour and when I’m out, I’m out. I’m on the road. We are working hard. We’re killing it. We’re doing what we do. When I write, I want to write. I want to immerse myself in that. Whatever I’m doing, I want to completely immerse myself in and that includes living a life, and I just feel like that’s so important. And for me as a mom and as a wife and as a friend and daughter and all of those things, it’s just important to take a minute to live a life worth writing about.”

CMA AWARDS 2019: Entertainer

This year’s Entertainer of the Year nominees include Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, as well as Garth Brooks.

Eric Church tallies up three nominations with his third nod for both Entertainer and Music Video of the Year (this time for “Some of It”). He also notched his fourth career nomination for Album of the Year for Desperate Man.

Chris Stapleton has 16 prior nominations and 10 wins. Chris earns his fifth nod for Male Vocalist of the Year, which he has won consecutively since 2015. “Millionaire” has earned his third nomination for Single of the Year. Chris is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year, his fourth nomination in the category.

Carrie Underwood has three nods this year. She picks up her second nomination for Entertainer of the Year, and she scored her 14th consecutive nomination for Female Vocalist, a title she’s won five times, including last year. This marks her fifth nomination for Album of the Year with Cry Pretty.

Keith Urban, who is the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, is once again nominated for the night’s top honor, as well as for Male Vocalist of the Year.

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (November 13th) at 8pm ET on ABC.

Audio / Eric Church talks about the energy exchanged between him and his fans in the audience at his shows.

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Eric Church (performing energy) OC: …type of crowd. :40
“Well, I think for me every night I try to empty the tank. There’s always that energy floating around. It’s a palpable thing, and it’s up to me to start that exchange and get the crowd to give it back to me and then watch it build on itself and just to have that experience. We have one night here in whatever city we’re in, you know, we’ve got this night. I’m not gonna see you for a while you’re not gonna see me for a while, you know? And I love being able to capitalize on that moment and trying to live in that moment and get as much energy exchange between myself and the crowd as we can. I love that. That’s my favorite part of what we do. I love being around people, I’m very passionate about my music, and I love people who are passionate about the music too and I love playing a show for that type of crowd.”

Audio / BACKSTAGE AT THE 2018 CMA AWARDS, CHRIS STAPLETON SAYS HE'S ALWAYS SURPRISED AND GRATEFUL FOR RECOGNITION OF HIS CRAFT.

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Chris Stapleton (CMA 2018) OC: …grateful for it. :30
“These things are always fantastic to win, but when you get nominated or invited to these parties, in my estimation, you’ve already won and you’ve already gotten to be far beyond anything, you know, anybody who’s a musician could ever dream of getting to do, and we get to do that every day, we get to live it every day. As far as thinking about going into anything, I’m always genuinely surprised to win anything, and I’m always grateful for it.”

Audio / Prior to her No. 1 party for Southbound a few weeks ago, Carrie Underwood talked about her Entertainer of the Year nomination.

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Carrie Underwood (Entertainer nod 2019) OC: …sorry boys! (laughs) :28
“I personally feel like entertainer. It’s everything, right? So, I feel like people kind of narrow it down to tours, but I feel like there’s so many more components to it. And, you know, I’m blessed and lucky to be nominated, obviously, and fantastic company. It would be amazing, but of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it. (laughs) Sorry boys.” (laughs)

Audio / BACKSTAGE AT LAST YEAR’S CMA AWARDS, KEITH URBAN WAS OVERWHELMED WITH HIS WIN FOR ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR, AN AWARD HE’S BEEN NOMINATED FOR NUMEROUS TIMES, BUT HASN’T WON SINCE 2005.

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Keith Urban (Entertainer win 2018) OC: …feeling. :28
“It’s an indescribable feeling to get that tonight, because I love playing, I love entertaining, I love putting on shows. I started playing guitar when I was six, so playing, and I came up playing in the clubs – four hours a night, five hours a night, five nights a week. I wasn’t writing songs. I was just schlepping my gear and playing cover tunes and learning my craft. To get to play three or four hours a night of original material is the most extraordinary feeling.”

GO BEHIND-THE-SCENES WITH KEITH URBAN AND ERIC CHURCH IN THE STUDIO.

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