Eric Church Recalls Arriving In Nashville With ‘Mediocre Songs’ and ‘Big Dreams’ During Music City Walk Of Fame Induction

Church’s longtime friend, Marty Smith, was on hand to induct him.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 7, 2023


2:46 pm

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Marty Smith, Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner_Nashville CVC

Eric Church was inducted into the Music City Walk Of Fame on Thursday (May 4). 

Church was one of several inductees who were celebrated during the ceremony in Nashville, which took place across from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Other inductees included Joe and Linda Chambers, who are the co-founders of the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, and Butch Spyridon, who is retiring after working at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. for 32 years. Joe Chambers was inducted posthumously as he passed away on September 28, 2022. 

Church Received The 99th Star

Joe and Linda Chambers received the 98th star, Eric Church was honored with the 99th star, and the 100th star was awarded to Butch Spyridon president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. 

“This class of inductees represents what makes Music City special with Country artist Eric Church who is at a high point of his career with his music and new Lower Broadway venue, along with the Chambers, who have made it their life’s work to recognize the hard work of Nashville’s musicians through the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Kevin Lavender, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Convention Visitors Corp and Executive Vice President at 5/3 Bank. “Butch is the architect of the Music City brand that has made Nashville a top global destination. He has championed many major initiatives to showcase the Music City story, including the Walk of Fame attraction. His impact on the Nashville community is undeniable.”

Church was inducted by his longtime friend, ESPN personality Marty Smith, who praised Church’s efforts to always “be his own man.” 

“Eric doesn’t chase what’s popular, he chases what’s right,” Smith said

Recalled His Move To Nashville

During the ceremony, the former CMA Entertainer of the Year reflected on his journey to Music City.  

“I came to this town in a 1987 two-tone Chevy Blazer in 2000. And I remember pulling in. I didn’t know anyone. I had a guitar, mediocre songs at the time, and big, big dreams,” he recalled. 

Church, who is set to open Chief’s his very own bar on Broadway in the coming months, went on to share what receiving the star means to him.  

Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner_Nashville CVC
Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner_Nashville CVC

“To be here today, and to have this, and to have a building going in downtown soon, it’s just beyond what I’d ever dreamed. I thought I had big dreams. But this is beyond those things,” he admitted. “And I’m very thankful that I did stay in town, but I’m also thankful that this became my home.” 

The North Carolina native said he now considers Nashville home and is grateful to be recognized for his accomplishments. 

The Church Choir Cheered Him On

Many of Eric Church’s fans, dubbed the “Church Choir,” were on hand to cheer him on during the momentous day. 

Garth Brooks, Marty Smith, Eric Church, Linda Chambers, Butch Spyridon; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner_Nashville CVC
Garth Brooks, Marty Smith, Eric Church, Linda Chambers, Butch Spyridon; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner_Nashville CVC

Garth Brooks was on hand to induct Joe and Linda Chambers as well as Butch Spyridon. 

Eric Church, a 10-time GRAMMY nominee, will soon open his six-story bar, BBQ restaurant, and music venue, Chief’s, just blocks away from his brand new star on the Music City Walk Of Fame. He recently offered a first look at the highly-anticipated establishment when he unveiled renderings of the project, which is set to open at 200 Broadway in 2023.    

Chief's Interior; Courtesy of Chief's, AJ Capital
Chief’s Interior; Courtesy of Chief’s, AJ Capital

2023 Tour

This summer, Church will embark on his headlining The Outsiders Revival Tour

Beginning on Thursday, June 22, the trek will visit 26 cities across the U.S. and Canada.  

Produced by Live Nation, the highly anticipated tour will feature a number of special guests on various dates, including Whiskey Myers, Cody Jinks, Jelly Roll, Ashley McBryde, Koe Wetzel, Lainey Wilson, Midland, Parker McCollum, Travis Tritt, Elle King and Paul Cauthen, plus Jackson Dean, Morgan Wade, Muscadine Bloodline, Shane Smith & The Saints, Hailey Whitters, Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Red Clay Straws.

Eric Church; Photo by Anthony D'Angio
Eric Church; Photo by Anthony D’Angio

The upcoming tour will be unlike anything he’s ever done in his career thus far as The Outsiders Revival Tour will visit only outdoor venues.

“When I approach touring, I’m always inspired by a new experience, a new way to gather, to express ourselves sonically and visually. Whether it’s solo, in the round, double down; being able to bring a different perspective has always brought out our best creatively,” he previously shared in a statement. “Well, we have never done an outdoor summer tour. Never headlined amphitheaters. Never brought a summer experience to your town that featured artists we want to share the summer with. Until now. See you in the season of sunshine with some fellow outsiders that shine brightest when the sun goes down.”

Additional information about The Outsiders Revival Tour can be found HERE

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.