Eric Church Shares a Nickname With His Grandpa
Eric Church has a record called Chief, a charity named Chief Cares and is known by many in the country industry by that nickname, but it isn't entirely his to claim: His grandpa had it first.
Church's late maternal grandfather, Rusty, was chief of police in Granite Falls, N.C. where the country star grew up, and it was his nickname. "Everybody called him Chief,” Church recalls.
However, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, because Church came by the nickname honestly, and it was born from his signature look -- sunglasses and a baseball cap.
“Many years ago, we were playing bars and clubs, and the hats and sunglasses started making their appearance, and almost as a joke, a lot of people on the road started calling me Chief ‘cause I looked like a police officer,” says Church. “They had no idea that it was also my grandpa’s nickname, and he was the chief of police.
So I thought it was interesting that we ended up with the same nickname, multi-generationally," he adds. "And when it came to the title of the album, not only did it pay tribute to what’s happening on the road and what was was happening every night, but it also paid tribute to my grandfather ... He was chief, I think, for 35 years."
But Church's nickname is a nickname that stays out on the road -- and stays out of his personal life. When he gets home to his wife and kids, he's no longer Chief; he's just Eric.
Press play on the video above to watch this installment of Taste of Country‘s You Think You Know Country? series and learn more about the "Smoke a Little Smoke" hitmaker.
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