Bio

Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church has spent the past year releasing new music at a relentless pace; providing a glimpse into the results of a marathon writing session during which he spent nearly a month writing and recording a song per day – including current single “Hell of a View” – while sequestered in a rural North Carolina cabin, and fueling speculation around his highly anticipated new three-part project, Heart & Soul, set for release this week and next week.

Just as unique as Church’s approach to recording and releasing music is his tenacity on the road. During his most recent outing, 2019’s Double Down Tour, Church played back-to-back nights of two unique shows in each market sans opening act, giving every city’s fans six-plus hours of his iconic music. The tour also featured a massive stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where he broke the venue’s concert attendance record with more than 56,000 fans in attendance and became the first artist to sell out the venue with a solo lineup. Church took to the field at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, February 7 to perform the National Anthem with R&B star Jazmine Sullivan ahead of Super Bowl LV.

Church also announced The Gather Again Tour kicking off this fall and visit 55 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, culminating at Madison Square Garden in the spring of 2022. Making the most of the long-awaited opportunity to “gather again,” for the first time in his career Church will adopt an in-the-round set up, with the stage at the center of each arena floor in order to accommodate as many fans as possible. Tickets to all U.S. dates go on sale to the general public Friday, May 7 at 10 a.m. local time at www.EricChurch.com. Church Choir members may access tickets early via pre-sale on Tuesday, May 4 at 10 a.m. local time. On sale information for the Canadian dates will be announced soon.

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ERIC CHURCH AND 30,000+ GATHER AGAIN AS TOUR KICKS OFF IN LEXINGTON & COLUMBUS.

Nearly 700 days since wrapping his critically acclaimed Double Down Tour, reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year (and current repeat nominee) Eric Church stepped to the microphone in Lexington, Ky. on Friday evening to officially launch The Gather Again Tour with a show two years in the making.

Prowling around his brand-new 2,400 square foot multi-level stage, positioned in the center of the arena floor for his first-ever in-the-round set up, Church launched into three and a half hours of music spanning his impressive decade-plus catalogue of both hits and deep cuts beloved by his loyal Church Choir.

 

From multi-Platinum-certified singles including “Talladega” and “Drink In My Hand” to fan favorites like “Chattanooga Lucy” and “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” as well as a sampling of the 24 songs making up his latest chart topping project, Heart & Soul, the current CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee’s vocals shone through stronger than ever after the unexpected time away from the road.

Indeed, Church continued well past the end of the intended set list each night in response to the crowds palpable energy, with Friday’s performance eventually transitioning from a “Born to Run” rendition into his 6x Platinum-certified “Springsteen,” thrilling the crowd with a personalized chorus of “a soundtrack to a Lexington Friday night” before pausing mid-song to describe the opening night celebration as “the tip of the spear for what this tour is” and proclaiming: “We are made to gather – and gather we did and gather we shall!”

The congregation continued Saturday evening in Columbus, Ohio with a brand-new set list as Church remains committed to giving fans in each city a completely unique experience.

The Lexington Herald-Leader raved of the “energetic 40-song bonanza” that was opening night: “the entire show possessed an intriguing stylistic variance” and “was massively audience-friendly” while the Columbus Dispatch celebrated the way Church “treated the arena like his own personal honky-tonk, keeping the evening loose and likeable rather than bombastic or tightly controlled” as he “combined the storytelling power of country music with the energy and anarchy of rock.”

The Gather Again Tour continues with 55 additional dates to come as Church visits cities throughout the U.S. and Canada into 2022. Tickets to all dates, including the grand finale at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden, are on sale now at EricChurch.com.

All tour dates will enforce local venue and/or city guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. Church will be touring with a fully vaccinated crew.

For more information, visit www.ericchurch.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @ericchurch and Instagram @ericchurchmusic. Fans can also download the Eric Church Official App for exclusive offers only available on tour – including seat upgrades, contests and special merchandise – all while connecting with fellow fans from around the world.

 

Go Behind the Scenes of The Gather Again Tour Opening Weekend With Rolling Stone’s Exclusive Photo Gallery

Remaining Dates on The Gather Again Tour
* denotes special appearances not part of The Gather Again Tour
Sept. 24, 2021               Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse                     Cleveland, Ohio
Sept. 25, 2021               KeyBank Center                                         Buffalo, N.Y.
Oct. 1, 2021                  Alerus Center                                             Grand Forks, N.D.
Oct. 2, 2021                  Canada Life Centre                                    Winnipeg, Manitoba
Oct. 8, 2021                  PPG Paints Arena                                       Pittsburgh, Pa.
Oct. 9, 2021                  Wells Fargo Center                                    Philadelphia, Pa.
Oct. 15, 2021                Ball Arena                                                  Denver, Colo.
Oct. 17, 2021*              Country Thunder West                               Florence, Ariz.
Oct. 22, 2021                Scotiabank Saddledome                             Calgary, Alberta
Oct. 23, 2021                SaskTel Centre                                           Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Oct. 29, 2021                Rogers Arena                                             Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct. 30, 2021                Climate Pledge Arena                                Seattle, Wash.
Nov. 5, 2021*               ATLive: The King & The Chief                Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 12, 2021               Thompson-Boling Arena                           Knoxville, Tenn.
Nov. 13, 2021               Ford Center                                                Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 3, 2021                 SNHU Arena                                              Manchester, N.H.
Dec. 4, 2021                 UBS Arena                                                 Belmont Park, N.Y.
Dec. 10, 2021               The Anthem                                               Washington, D.C.
Dec. 11, 2021               The Anthem                                               Washington, D.C.
Dec. 17, 2021               Bon Secours Wellness Arena                     Greenville, S.C.
Dec. 18, 2021               Greensboro Coliseum                                Greensboro, N.C.
Jan. 7, 2022                  Pinnacle Bank Arena                                 Lincoln, Neb.
Jan. 8, 2022                  Denny Sanford PREMIER Center             Sioux Falls, S.D.
Jan. 14, 2022                Scotiabank Arena                                       Toronto, Ontario
Jan. 15, 2022                Canadian Tire Centre                                 Ottawa, Ontario
Jan. 21, 2022                Van Andel Arena                                       Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jan. 22, 2022                Little Caesars Arena                                   Detroit, Mich.
Feb. 4, 2022                  KFC Yum! Center                                      Louisville, Ky.
Feb. 5, 2022                  Bankers Life Fieldhouse                            Indianapolis, Ind.
Feb. 11, 2022                CHI Health Center                                     Omaha, Neb.
Feb. 12, 2022                Wells Fargo Arena                                     Des Moines, Iowa
Feb. 18, 2022                T-Mobile Center                                        Kansas City, Mo.
Feb 19, 2022                 BOK Center                                               Tulsa, Okla.
Feb. 25, 2022                Hampton Coliseum                                    Hampton, Va.
Feb. 26, 2022                Spectrum Center                                        Charlotte, N.C.
March 4, 2022              Amway Center                                           Orlando, Fla.
March 5, 2022              Amalie Arena                                             Tampa, Fla.
March 11, 2022            United Center                                             Chicago, Ill.
March 12, 2022            Enterprise Center                                       St. Louis, Mo.
March 18, 2022            Resch Center                                              Green Bay, Wis.
March 19, 2022            Resch Center                                              Green Bay, Wis.
March 25, 2022            Legacy Arena at the BJCC                         Birmingham, Ala.
March 26, 2022            Simmons Bank Arena                                Little Rock, Ark.
April 1, 2022                Dickies Arena                                            Fort Worth, Texas
April 2, 2022                AT&T Center                                             San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2022                Toyota Center                                            Houston, Texas
April 9, 2022                Smoothie King Center                               New Orleans, La.
April 15, 2022              Moda Center                                              Portland, Ore.
April 16, 2022              Spokane Arena                                           Spokane, Wash.
April 29, 2022              ExtraMile Arena                                        Boise, Idaho
April 30, 2022              Vivint Arena                                              Salt Lake City, Utah
May 6, 2022                 Pechanga Arena                                         San Diego, Calif.
May 7, 2022                 STAPLES Center                                       Los Angeles, Calif.
May 11, 2022               Golden 1 Center                                         Sacramento, Calif.
May 13, 2022               T-Mobile Arena                                         Las Vegas, Nev.
May 14, 2022               Gila River Arena                                        Glendale, Ariz.
May 20, 2022               Madison Square Garden                             New York, N.Y.
July 8, 2022*                Pendleton Whisky Music Festival             Pendleton, Ore.
Aug. 27, 2022*             Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s    Stateline, NV
Aug. 28, 2022*             Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s    Stateline, NV

About Eric Church
Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and 10-time GRAMMY nominee Eric Church has spent the past year releasing new music at a relentless pace; providing a glimpse into the results of a marathon writing session during which he spent nearly a month writing and recording a song per day – including his latest Gold-certified No. 1 single “Hell of a View” and current single “Heart On Fire” – while sequestered in rural North Carolina, and fueling speculation around his critically acclaimed, chart-topping new three-part project, Heart & Soul, available everywhere now.

Just as unique as Church’s approach to recording and releasing music is his tenacity on the road. During his last outing, 2019’s Double Down Tour, Church played back-to-back nights of two unique shows in each market sans opening act, giving every city’s fans six-plus hours of his iconic music. The tour also featured a massive stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where he broke the venue’s concert attendance record with more than 56,000 fans in attendance and became the first artist to sell out the venue with a solo lineup. Church also took to the field at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium in February of this year to perform the National Anthem with R&B star Jazmine Sullivan ahead of Super Bowl LV and has now returned to the road for his 55-city The Gather Again Tour, visiting full-capacity arenas for an in-the-round show in addition to a headlining spot alongside George Strait and Metallica during the ATLive festival at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this November.

A seven-time ACM Award winner, four-time CMA Award winner and 10-time GRAMMY nominee, Church has amassed a passionate fanbase around the globe known as the Church Choir as well as a critically acclaimed catalog of music. His previous album, the Gold-certified Desperate Man, earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album (his third nod in the category). Previous releases include the Platinum-certified Sinners Like Me (“How ’Bout You,” “Guys Like Me”), Carolina (“Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Love Your Love the Most”) and Mr. Misunderstood (“Record Year,” “Round Here Buzz”), the Double-Platinum certified The Outsiders (“Like a Wrecking Ball,” “Talladega”) and the 3x Platinum-certified Chief (“Springsteen,” “Drink In My Hand”)as well as 29 Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certified singles.

ERIC CHURCH READIES FIRST-EVER IN-THE-ROUND TOUR AS HE INVITES FANS TO GATHER AGAIN.

For reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church, each tour is an opportunity to re-imagine the limits of what’s possible; to bring something new to the fans. For his most recent outing, 2019’s Double Down Tour, that meant playing back-to-back nights in each market with completely different set lists and setting a concert attendance record at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium – sans opening act – with 56,521 fans singing at the top of their lungs well past midnight.

Now, just days away from the launch of The Gather Again Tour where he will perform a full tour from an in-the-round stage for the first time ever, Church carries with him five nominations for the upcoming CMA Awards, including an opportunity to retain the top honor of Entertainer of the Year. With four additional nominations, for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (Heart), Single of the Year and Song of the Year (both for “Hell Of A View”), Church is tied for the most nods this year and brings his all-time count to 35 total nominations.

For the man Billboard celebrates as “a touring juggernaut” and Pollstar regards as “one of the most successful touring country artists,” this return to the road – especially after nearly 700 days away from full-time touring – means going all in. Just as Church and his band hunkered down in rural North Carolina to create his chart-topping and critically-acclaimed triple album, Heart & Soul, the core group once again tucked away in a musical bootcamp, setting up shop in Lititz, Pennsylvania for two weeks to rehearse for the upcoming tour.

“The hardest thing I’ve done thus far in my career is this setlist,” Church shares of the extensive preparations in a rare behind-the-scenes look at the inner makings of a live show. “It’s not a normal record; it’s three. So, you add 28 songs to what we already had going, which is a pretty stacked and packed setlist, and when you start to try to get rid of stuff and change it every night – which I’m committed to; we’re still going to play the different set, we’re going to give people different experiences – it has been maddening.

“It’s the most musical we’ve ever been,” he continues. “To see the way the new music happens in the show is something that I’m excited just to see and, also, we’re trying to reimagine songs that we’ve played 100 times, playing them different, and that’s just fun. It’s fun for us to do. There’s going to be a lot of songs that fans aren’t gonna recognize at first, that we’re gonna start singing and they’re going to go ‘oh yeah, that’s that song.’ So, I think it’s just fun after this many years to change it up and make it about music; make it musical. I’m just excited to see the reaction.”

After such thorough rehearsals, the 10-time GRAMMY nominee has now made himself at home on the 2,400 square foot multi-level stage – which will be positioned in the center of each arena floor and accompanied by 11 busses, 20 trucks, a 127,000-pound lighting rig and four 836 square foot video walls – and he is primed to deliver a brand-new version of the high-octane live show his Church Choir fans have come to love.

“I’ve never played a stage like this in my career… I’ve never seen anybody play one like this,” notes Church of his first-ever in-the-round setup. “There’s really no front… It’s kind of like a cage match. I mean once we get out there the crowd is everywhere. They’re behind you, they’re on the sides, and I love that…. The reason it’s called The Gather Again Tour is we want people on top of us, and they will be.”

Now, with two weeks of rehearsals and detailed planning under their belt, Church and company get the cage match underway this Friday, September 17, at Lexington, Ky.’s Rupp Arena with 56 dates throughout the U.S. and Canada to follow. Tickets to all dates, including the grand finale at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden, are on sale now at EricChurch.com.

All tour dates will enforce local venue and/or city guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. Church will be touring with a fully vaccinated band and crew.

For more information, visit www.ericchurch.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @ericchurch and Instagram @ericchurchmusic. Fans can also download the Eric Church Official App for exclusive offers only available on tour – including seat upgrades, contests and special merchandise – all while connecting with fellow fans from around the world!

The Gather Again Tour
Sept. 17, 2021                   Rupp Arena                                            Lexington, Ky.
Sept. 18, 2021                   Nationwide Arena                                  Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 24, 2021                   Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse                Cleveland, Ohio
Sept. 25, 2021                   KeyBank Center                                    Buffalo, N.Y.
Oct. 1, 2021                      Alerus Center                                         Grand Forks, N.D.
Oct. 2, 2021                      Canada Life Centre                                Winnipeg, Manitoba
Oct. 8, 2021                      PPG Paints Arena                                  Pittsburgh, Pa.
Oct. 9, 2021                      Wells Fargo Center                                Philadelphia, Pa.
Oct. 15, 2021                    Ball Arena                                              Denver, Colo.
Oct. 22, 2021                    Scotiabank Saddledome                        Calgary, Alberta
Oct. 23, 2021                    SaskTel Centre                                      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Oct. 29, 2021                    Rogers Arena                                         Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct. 30, 2021                    Climate Pledge Arena                            Seattle, Wash.
Nov. 12, 2021                   Thompson-Boling Arena                       Knoxville, Tenn.
Nov. 13, 2021                   Ford Center                                            Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 3, 2021                      SNHU Arena                                         Manchester, N.H.
Dec. 4, 2021                      UBS Arena                                            Belmont Park, N.Y.
Dec. 10, 2021                    The Anthem                                           Washington, D.C.
Dec. 11, 2021                    The Anthem                                           Washington, D.C.
Dec. 17, 2021                    Bon Secours Wellness Arena                Greenville, S.C.
Dec. 18, 2021                    Greensboro Coliseum                            Greensboro, N.C.
Jan. 7, 2022                       Pinnacle Bank Arena                             Lincoln, Neb.
Jan. 8, 2022                       Denny Sanford PREMIER Center         Sioux Falls, S.D.
Jan. 14, 2022                     Scotiabank Arena                                  Toronto, Ontario
Jan. 15, 2022                     Canadian Tire Centre                            Ottawa, Ontario
Jan. 21, 2022                     Van Andel Arena                                   Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jan. 22, 2022                     Little Caesars Arena                              Detroit, Mich.
Feb. 4, 2022                      KFC Yum! Center                                 Louisville, Ky.
Feb. 5, 2022                      Bankers Life Fieldhouse                        Indianapolis, Ind.
Feb. 11, 2022                    CHI Health Center Omaha                    Omaha, Neb.
Feb. 12, 2022                    Wells Fargo Arena                                 Des Moines, Iowa
Feb. 18, 2022                    T-Mobile Center                                    Kansas City, Mo.
Feb 19, 2022                     BOK Center                                           Tulsa, Okla.
Feb. 25, 2022                    Hampton Coliseum                                Hampton, Va.
Feb. 26, 2022                    Spectrum Center                                    Charlotte, N.C.
March 4, 2022                   Amway Center                                       Orlando, Fla.
March 5, 2022                   Amalie Arena                                        Tampa, Fla.
March 11, 2022                 United Center                                        Chicago, Ill.
March 12, 2022                 Enterprise Center                                   St. Louis, Mo.
March 18, 2022                 Resch Center                                          Green Bay, Wis.
March 19, 2022                 Resch Center                                          Green Bay, Wis.
March 25, 2022                 Legacy Arena at the BJCC                    Birmingham, Ala.
March 26, 2022                 Simmons Bank Arena                            Little Rock, Ark.
April 1, 2022                     Dickies Arena                                        Fort Worth, Texas
April 2, 2022                     AT&T Center                                        San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2022                     Toyota Center                                        Houston, Texas
April 9, 2022                     Smoothie King Center                           New Orleans, La.
April 15, 2022                   Moda Center                                          Portland, Ore.
April 16, 2022                   Spokane Arena                                      Spokane, Wash.
April 29, 2022                   ExtraMile Arena                                    Boise, Idaho
April 30, 2022                   Vivint Arena                                          Salt Lake City, Utah
May 6, 2022                      Pechanga Arena                                     San Diego, Calif.
May 7, 2022                      STAPLES Center                                  Los Angeles, Calif.
May 11, 2022                    Golden 1 Center                                     Sacramento, Calif.
May 13, 2022                    T-Mobile Arena                                     Las Vegas, Nev.
May 14, 2022                    Gila River Arena                                   Glendale, Ariz.
May 20, 2022                    Madison Square Garden                        New York, N.Y.

About Eric Church
Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and 10-time GRAMMY nominee Eric Church has spent the past year releasing new music at a relentless pace; providing a glimpse into the results of a marathon writing session during which he spent nearly a month writing and recording a song per day – including his latest Gold-certified No. 1 single “Hell of a View” and current single “Heart On Fire” – while sequestered in rural North Carolina, and fueling speculation around his critically acclaimed, chart-topping new three-part project, Heart & Soul, available everywhere now.

Just as unique as Church’s approach to recording and releasing music is his tenacity on the road. During his most recent outing, 2019’s Double Down Tour, Church played back-to-back nights of two unique shows in each market sans opening act, giving every city’s fans six-plus hours of his iconic music. The tour also featured a massive stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where he broke the venue’s concert attendance record with more than 56,000 fans in attendance and became the first artist to sell out the venue with a solo lineup. Church also took to the field at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium in February of this year to perform the National Anthem with R&B star Jazmine Sullivan ahead of Super Bowl LV and will return to the road for his 55-city The Gather Again Tour this month, visiting full-capacity arenas for an in-the-round show in addition to a headlining spot alongside George Strait and Metallica during the ATLive festival at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this November.

A seven-time ACM Award winner, four-time CMA Award winner and 10-time GRAMMY nominee, Church has amassed a passionate fanbase around the globe known as the Church Choir as well as a critically acclaimed catalog of music. His previous album, the Gold-certified Desperate Man, earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album (his third nod in the category). Previous releases include the Platinum-certified Sinners Like Me (“How ’Bout You,” “Guys Like Me”), Carolina (“Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Love Your Love the Most”) and Mr. Misunderstood (“Record Year,” “Round Here Buzz”), the Double-Platinum certified The Outsiders (“Like a Wrecking Ball,” “Talladega”) and the 3x Platinum-certified Chief (“Springsteen,” “Drink In My Hand”), as well as 29 Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certified singles.

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THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11TH: Alan Jackson, Brandon Lay, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Jordan Davis, Keith Urban, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Travis Denning

On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever with the devastating attacks on both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the events that took place 20 years ago. (This Saturday is the 20th Anniversary of 9-11.)

There is audio from country superstar Alan Jackson sharing memories and thoughts on the events of September 11, 2001 and discussing his song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” as well as remembrances from Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Gary Allan, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Jordan Davis, Lauren Alaina and Travis Denning.

The chorus and melody of “Where Were You…” came to Jackson in the middle of the night several weeks after the 9/11 tragedies. He awoke…sang the words into a recorder and wrote down key elements of the chorus…and completed the lyrics and verses later that same day. Initially reluctant to record the song, he was convinced by family and friends to share it with the world and debuted “Where Were You…” live on national television in early November at the 35th annual CMA Awards.

“Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” embodied the thoughts and feelings of millions in the wake of the 2001 events. Written by Jackson, the song was called “…one of the most touching, powerful songs to come after the tragedies” by USA Today and dubbed “a reflective hymn that Americans will be listening to well into the second half of this century” by Salon.comThe New York Times singled out “Where Were You…” as “one of his finest songs,” and Billboard noted “a multitude of songs have been written and recorded in the wake of September 11th, but none captures the myriad emotions unleashed by the terrorist attacks on an unsuspecting nation more perfectly than Jackson’s eloquent ballad.” The song went on to be honored with a Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards.

 

Audio / Alan Jackson explains why he feels “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” still resonates with music fans in concert 20 years after the events of September 11, 2001.

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Alan Jackson (20th Anniversary of Sept 11) OC: …it all started. 1:24
“Yeah, I mean it makes me feel really warm inside to know that that song and at the same time I feel a little bit surprised that it has lasted all this – these years. When I first wrote it, I didn’t think I would record it. And then we didn’t think it would ever – we would want to release it. At first I didn’t think I would ever write a song about the event because I just didn’t feel right about it and then this came out of nowhere and then it went on to be such an anthem for it for years. And now it’s kind of grown into just its own song outside of 9/11 where it’s just a song about faith and hope and love. And I see that in the crowds now. And a lot of my fans, younger fans weren’t hardly even around when 9/11 happened but they have connected with that song. And it’s one of the highlights of the show now and it’s just amazing that it has outlived where it really began. So, it can’t help but make me feel very proud that something like that has helped people through that hard time in the beginning and it still has a lasting affect outside of where it all started.”

Audio / Alan Jackson describes how the events of September 11, 2001 impacted him…and talks about writing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” a few weeks later.

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AJ (Where Were You) 2 OC: …same feelings. 1:33
“Well, I don’t know – I think I was probably like most people that were impacted with that day and the months that followed. You know, everybody was glued to the news and television and I think it really affected a lot of people – their perspective on their lives and their jobs and their families and where they were and what they were wanting to do and how they looked at things. And I guess…I mean, that’s what I was thinking, too. And I just pretty much visualized a lot of those scenes and stories I’d heard and seen on television or heard people talk about. The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night – the chorus did. Just a gift. And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it, and then the next day I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had or visuals I’d had, and…that was about it. I think it was just really…I had so many people tell me that there’s always a line or something in there that they did, whether it was go to church or pick up their Bible or go see their mother or watch a sunset – I mean, just a lot of things in there people told me that they had actually done those things, so…I guess I was like everybody else, just feeling those same feelings.”

Audio / Alan Jackson recalls sharing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” with all of us for the first time live on national television during the 35th Annual CMA Awards.

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AJ (Where Were You) 3 OC: …meant something. :56
“It was a tough performance for me. You know, just the whole idea of releasing that song was a little bit tough. I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that out, but everybody convinced me that it was the thing to do…and in retrospect, I agree with that. But, you know, I hadn’t really sung the song much, first of all. It was just in the studio, basically, and when I wrote it…so it’s hard to go out there and sing something new anyway, and just the topic made it nerve-wracking, too. You know, I didn’t think about what was going to happen or anything – we just sang it. And I just remember, other than being relieved that I got through it, I just felt very proud that it seemed to cause a reaction in people…and I was proud that I got to do it, and that it seemed like it meant something.”

Audio / Brandon Lay remembers being in class in high school when he found out about the tragic events of 9-11.

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Brandon Lay (9-11) OC: …changed forever. :52
“I remember 9-11 very vividly. I was in Ms. Munn’s College Algebra class. It was a Tuesday. We happened to be able to bring breakfast, it was our day to bring breakfast to school that day, and Megan Smith was in my class and she came in and said something’s hit one of the towers in New York. There was a bomb or something. And the principal came and pulled Ms. Munn out in the hall and told her. From then on, we listened to some of the radio that day. Obviously, when we got home, we saw the replay of all that, and it was just unbelievable. I was in my sister’s Honda Accord – I had just got my driver’s license – and I went to go fill it up with gas and there was none, and I just remember thinking this country we live in now has just changed forever.”

Audio / Darius Rucker recalls where he was on September 11th, 2001.

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Darius Rucker (9-11) OC: …vicious day. :24
“[On] 9-11, I was playing golf with a friend early in the morning. Had an apartment in New York, and I lived in New York kind of at the time. If you looked out my bedroom window, we saw the World Trade Center. I was on my way back home. I was playing a 7 o’clock round of golf, and then I was catching a noon flight, and when I was finishing up, we stopped in to get a drink and I looked and we saw the second tower come down. It was a vicious day.”

Audio / Eric Church was on his way to work when he heard the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

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Eric Church (9-11) OC: …that feeling. :23
“I was driving into work — the Shop-At-Home Network — I was listening to (WSIX’s) Gerry House, I remember that, and the news broke. [I] really couldn’t grasp what had happened until I got to work and saw it for myself on television. I remember I watched the second plane hit the tower in real time. I had just moved to Nashville earlier that year, and all I remember is wanting to go home and be with those I loved. I’ll never, I’ll never forget that feeling.”

Audio / Gary Allan was across the pond on September 11th, 2001, and was stuck in London for almost three weeks until his flight attendant wife was able to get him on a plane to come home.

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Gary Allan (September 11th) OC: …me outta there. 1:31
“I can remember exactly where I was on 9-11. I had played in Switzerland the 10th at Gstaad and the band flew home and me and Jake Kelly flew to London to do a show on September 11th in a bar. I was in the BBC doing media, I was sitting there doing interviews, and they had glass walls and there were cubicles, so I could see through into other offices.  I remember looking over, they were showing the first plane fly into the building, and I said, ‘Are they editing movies over there?’ And they all kind of looked at me pretty serious and said, ‘No, that’s live.’  And that was right when the second plane flew in, and I said, ‘That’s live?! That’s the twin towers?” And they said, ‘Yes.’ And I remember looking at John, my manager, and said, ‘Man, let’s get out of here!’ And that’s when the U.S. put out a statement saying that nobody’s flying into the U.S. If it flies, it dies, don’t approach us right now was the whole message. And I got stuck there for three weeks watching the media. It was really crazy times, just nobody really knowing, ‘cause it took us a while to get our heads around what had actually happened, but it was scary. I got trapped there for a couple of weeks. I remember my wife Angela got me out before the record label did. I remember going to the airport and John, my manager, saying you’re wasting your time, you’re not going to get out of here, and my wife at the time was a flight attendant, and she said, ‘Go sit at this terminal.’ That’s when you could just walk in and sit by a terminal. And I went in and sat there and eventually this flight attendant came out and said, ‘Are you Gary?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ She said, ‘Come on,’ and snuck me onto a plane and got me outta there.”

Audio / Jordan Davis recalls what he was wearing and where he was on September 11th, 2001.

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Jordan Davis (September 11th) OC: …happen again. :51
“Yeah, I think I was in second period, Louisiana studies, Miss Porter was the teacher. I was wearing my football jersey ‘cause we had a football game that night. And I think back on that as like how many times in your life can you explain in that much detail what you were wearing? The number – I was number 11, it was a blue jersey, white lettering with yellow numbers. I’d never had anything just hit me that (hard) and just be that scary. But I remember just for the rest of the day, there was no school. I mean, we obviously stayed there, but nobody was teaching. Every TV was on and everybody was glued to it. I don’t know, it was just something that I still kinda get chillbumps about now thinking back on it. It’s one of those things that you pray never to happen again.”

Audio / Keith Urban recalls being on the beach in Florida on September 11, 2001 and felt there was a really eerie feeling in the air, before heading back to his rental house and finding out what happened that would change the world forever.

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Keith Urban (September 11th) OC: …lot of people. 1:14
“Yeah, I was in Florida. We had just played a show on the night, either the 9th, I think it might have been the 9th or the 10th, somewhere around there. It was right before it. And then we decided to stay down and have a few days vacation on the beach down there and I remember that morning. I didn’t turn the news on and I was really grateful that I didn’t because I had a few extra hours before I was aware of this reality that was going on that would change everything. But the beach was deserted, and it was an eerie, ominous feeling in the air and I couldn’t put my finger on it. when we ended up going back to the house that we were renting we put the news on and that was the first time I saw what was happening and I couldn’t take it in. It was too surreal. Couldn’t fly anywhere. I had to send my tour bus to come down and get me and then bus all the way back to Nashville. My mom was staying with me at the time, and she was panicked and worried about me being away and was anxious for me to get home. It was a very, it was a really, really surreal traumatic time for a lot of people.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina was just a little girl when the tragic events took place on September 11th, 2001, but she remembers feeling very scared when her father picked her up at school and explained what happened.

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Lauren Alaina (September 11th) OC: …very scared. 1:11
“I was in first grade when 9-11 happened. I don’t have a ton of memories from that time period, but I do specifically remember 9-11, because my father came and picked me up at school which never, ever happened. Like I didn’t miss school, but I didn’t totally understand what was going on. My father explained it to us, and we went to the house. I think he just wanted our family to be together ‘cause it was so devastating and so scary, and nobody knew what was actually happening. And I just remember as a little girl knowing how serious it was. I didn’t know what was going on, but I remember my dad cried and it really affected my dad and little girls don’t see their dads cry very often, and I remember thinking this is not good. This is not good. For both of my parents to come home from work and for us to all be at home in the middle of the day, I just remember being seven years old being very confused and very scared.”

Audio / Luke Bryan just moved to Nashville about 10 days before the devastating terror attacks on the twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

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Luke Bryan (9-11 20th) OC: …when that happened. 1:01
“So, as we come up on the 20th Anniversary of 9-11, certainly a life-changing event for me and it was really, really challenging for me because I had just moved to Nashville. I moved to Nashville September 1st, 2001 and I’m in an apartment by myself down in Franklin. I never will forget. I was in bed and my sister called and said, ‘Turn on the TV. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center.’ I remember kinda getting my wits about me, and I turned it on and like so many other people, I saw the second plane hit. And at that moment a lot of innocence is forever lost and that’s certainly when the world changed. And I remember almost getting in the car and going home and spending some time with my family, but I wound up kinda toughing it out in Nashville. But it was a challenging moment being away from your family when that happened.”

Audio / Travis Denning recalls where he was, what he was doing and how worried he and his family were about his mother, who was in D.C. working out of the Pentagon on a worktrip on September 11th, 2001. Near the end of the soundbite, Travis gets a little emotional and the soundbite trails off.

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Travis Denning (Sept. 11th) OC: …makes me…(emotional trailoff). 2:18
“I was in Atlanta on a field trip and we were going to a shadow puppet play and we were actually currently making our own shadow puppets. I’m telling you, I can remember everything about this, and my teacher came in, Mr. Andy Payne who I went to church with and amazing guy, great guy, and he came into the room, the little workshop we were in and had to be 12:30p, one o’clock, and he just announced in the room, ‘Hey everybody. There’s been a change of plans. We’re not gonna go to the play, and we actually have to, we’re going to go back home.’ And we’re in Atlanta, so we’re an hour and a half from Warner Robbins. I walked past him, and I said, ‘Well, what’s going on?’ He didn’t even look at me. He just said, ‘Everybody, get your stuff and we’ll get back in the bus and we’ll get rolling.’ I thought that was pretty weird. We did not go back to the school. We got dropped off at a Chik-fil-a parking lot down the road from the school and all our parents were picking us up and cops were there, and then I remember just at that point something was very wrong. I remember my grandmother picked me up and took me to his house. My dad eventually got to the house. We did not turn on the TV until he got there, but as soon as he turned on the TV every channel had it on. And then it hit you like a freight train, and you just think we’re at war. And then it hits you why we left Atlanta is because nobody knew what was going on, and they thought Atlanta might be attacked. Just the overwhelming like uncertainty hit, and then just the worst part is it hits you that my mom is in D.C. She’s at the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was attacked and we couldn’t get ahold of my mom, but it worked out. It was all good  She was at the hotel. The impact blew out the windows at the hotel, but (pause) we couldn’t get ahold of her for a while, so…it’s weird. It’s still kinda like, makes me…(gets emotional)”

Audio / Travis Denning continues talking about the events of 9-11 and eventually getting ahold of his mother.

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Travis Denning (Sept. 11th) 2 OC: …that is nuts. :49
“So, eventually my dad got ahold of my mom and she was like, ‘Oh yeah. It has hit the fan here. It is so bad.’ They actually walked down to a separate hotel and got onto the roof and they were able to see directly into the Pentagon and see the crash. Ultimately too, she was like, ‘Well, I’m not getting home any time soon.’ And she ended up renting a car and about two days later pulled up in a rental vehicle. I remember everything about it. It was just so nuts. Then going back to school and just everybody talking about it. And on top of that it felt like the kids and the teachers were equally so astonished. It is wild. It’s just crazy that 20 years is coming up. That is nuts.”

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