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Eric Church’s debut album Sinners Like Me was released 15 years ago today (7/18) in 2006. The collection featured such signature songs as “Guys Like Me,” “How ‘Bout You,” “These Boots,” “Pledge Allegiance to The Hag” and “Lightning.” Eric co-wrote all 12 songs on the record; the songs were all based on his own experiences.

He said of his first project when it came out in 2006, “I think throughout the whole record, you’re gonna get songs that tell it like it is and is very much who I am, what I think, what I believe. It’s okay if you believe it. It’s okay if you don’t. I think the main thing is we try to put it out there and give people a chance to see what they think about it.”

Since the release of his debut album, Church has toured tirelessly, playing multiple sold-out shows; his three-hour concerts with no openers are the stuff of legend. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award nine times. His music sales have sold millions.

His first single, “How ‘Bout You” peaked at No. 14 on Hot Country Songs and led off the debut album. In April of 2006, he performed on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time.

The album’s other two singles, “Two Pink Lines” and “Guys Like Me,” both reached the Top 20 as well. The fourth single, the title track, peaked at No. 51.

The additional track from the album, “Lightning”, was made into a music video despite not being released as a single. Church wrote the song shortly after moving to Nashville, inspired by the movie The Green Mile.

Following the album’s success, Church toured with Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts. He was famously fired from opening for Rascal Flatts after repeatedly performing for longer than his allotted time, despite repeated warnings. He was replaced by Taylor Swift, who was starting her career. Before she started the tour, Church and Swift spoke; he apparently told her that she would thrive on the tour and joked that she should give her first gold record to him as thanks.

Swift later did give him her first gold record with an attached note that said “Thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it. Taylor.”

Eric’s latest album, his seventh, released in April of 2021 is a triple album project named Heart & Soul.

Church gets back on the road for his post-pandemic tour this month. He plays the Cheyenne Frontier Days on July 29, 2021.

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