It’s not disbelief. But it’s most certainly not sunken in fully.
Eric Church is the CMA Entertainer of The Year.
He won. We won. EMI won. QPrime won. TeamUMG won. At the most awkward time to win Entertainer of The Year. He said it himself. “If there was ever a year not to win this award.”
Last night at 9:58pm. My phone just blew up, text, emails, FB messenger. Couldn’t keep up there for a while. Then it calmed down.
And the funny thing is all the big arena concerts, stadiums, Red Rocks and award show performances I have been to, all I could think about was a 200 person acoustic show at a small bar in a casino in Shreveport La in 2009.
I “came on board” during the launch of the Carolina album. The small but passionate following had already started. But for the most part Eric was still a new artist. We had just released “Love Your Love The Most”. And we were doing a show for KXKS, Chris Evans was the PD.
There were 10-15 hard core Church fans there. They sang every word to every song. The other 185 or so were just fans of the station who were out to hear music from this new “kid”. When he rolled into “Love Your Love”, every single person in the bar started to sing it back to him.
I was standing side stage, and he gave me “that grin”. Those of you who know get what I am talking about. That grin that says, “I got em”. I have seen it many times on stage, even in a room full of fans or radio. He always knows when the crowd turns, and he takes them to that place. Something new, something different, that moment where he pushed the envelope further.
That’s what entertainers do. They “get you” and “take you” to that place. You forget about your troubles, your daily grind and you escape. I call it “take off”. Whenever a true entertainer hits it, you can see 16,000 people become one. To this day, it never gets old.
Considering the world right now, his music always takes us somewhere else. Says something to us. Moves us. Makes us feel. And it never compromises.
“And I really believe this, it’s going to be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that is going to save the entire world,” Church continued. “Politicians are about division. Music is about unity. And I promise you, it’s going to take everybody in this room to unite.”
In my opinion, that’s EXACTLY why THIS WAS THE YEAR he won Entertainer of The Year.
Thank you to every person who worked him at Capitol and my 2nd family at EMI, to every radio programmer that put a song into Selector (not always sure they should), and to QPrime for holding to “the vision”. Most importantly to every fan who bought an album, streamed a song, or dragged your friends to a little casino in Shreveport La. to see “this guy I have been telling you about”. Last night was your night!