Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known by his stage name MC Hammer, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer and entrepreneur. He had his greatest commercial success and popularity until the early 1990s. Remembered for his rapid rise to fame, Hammer is known for hit records, flashy dance movements and eponymous Hammer pants. A multi-award winner, M. C. Hammer is considered a "forefather/pioneer" and innovator of pop rap, is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time". Vibe's "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round. Burrell became a preacher during the late 1990s with a Christian ministry program on TBN called M. C. Hammer and Friends. Additionally, he starred in a Saturday-morning cartoon called Hammerman in 1991 and was executive producer of his own reality show called Hammertime which aired on the A&E Network during the summer of 2009. Hammer was a television show host and dance judge on Dance Fever in 2003, was co-creator of a dance website called DanceJam.com, is a record label CEO while still performing concerts at music venues and assisting with other social media and outreach functions.
Prior to becoming ordained, Hammer signed with Suge Knight's Death Row Records by 1995. Throughout his career, Hammer has managed his own recording business; as a result, he has created and produced his own acts including Oaktown's 3.5.7, Special Generation, Analise, DRS, B Angie B, Wee Wee. A part of additional record labels, he has associated and recorded with VMF, Tupac Shakur, Teddy Riley, Felton Pilate, Tha Dogg Pound, The Whole 9, The Hines Brother, Deion Sanders, Big Daddy Kane, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Jon Gibson. In 1992, Doug E. Fresh was signed to M. C. Hammer's Bust. Stanley Kirk Burrell was born on March 1962 in Oakland, California, his father was a professional poker player and gambling casino manager, as well as warehouse supervisor. He grew up poor with eight siblings in a small apartment in East Oakland, he recalled. The Burrells would frequent thoroughbred horse races becoming owners and winners of several graded stakes. In the Oakland Coliseum parking lot the young Burrell would sell stray baseballs and dance accompanied by a beatboxer.
Oakland A's team owner Charles O. Finley saw the 11-year-old doing splits and hired him as a clubhouse assistant and batboy as a result of his energy and flair. Burrell served as a "batboy" with the team from 1973 to 1980. In 2010, Hammer discussed his lifelong involvement with athletes on ESPN's First Take as well as explained that his brother Louis Burrell Jr. was the batboy while his job was to take calls and do "play-by-plays" for the A's absentee owner during every summer game. The colorful Finley, who lived in Chicago, used the child as his "eyes and ears." Reggie Jackson, in describing Burrell's role for Finley, took credit for his nickname: Hell, our chief executive, the guy that ran our team, uh, that communicated Charlie Finley, the top man there, was a 13-year old kid. I nicknamed him "Hammer,". Team players, including Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Pedro Garcia dubbed Burrell "Little Hammer" due to his resemblance to Aaron. Ron Bergman, at the time an Oakland Tribune writer who covered the A's, recalled that: He was an informant in the clubhouse, an informant for Charlie, he got the nickname "Pipeline."
According to Hammer: Charlie said, "I'm getting you a new hat. I don't want you to have a hat. I'm getting you a hat that says'Ex VP,' that says'Executive Vice President.' You're running the joint around here."... Every time I come down to the clubhouse, you know, Rollie would yell out "Oh, everybody be quiet! Here comes Pipeline!" He acquired the nickname "M. C." for being a "Master of Ceremonies" which he used when he began performing at various clubs while on the road with the A's, in the military. Hammer, who played second base in high school, dreamed of being a professional baseball player but did not make the final cut at a San Francisco Giants tryout. However, he has been a participant/player in the annual Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game wearing an A's cap to represent Oakland. Burrell went on to graduate from high school in Oakland and took undergraduate classes in communications. Discouraged by his studies at a local college and failing to win a place in a professional baseball organization, Hammer considered the drug trade.
Instead he joined the United States Navy for three years, serving with PATRON FOUR SEVEN of NAS Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA as a Petty Officer Third Class Aviation Store Keeper until his honorable discharge. Before Hammer's successful music career and his "rags-to-riches-to-rags-and-back saga", Burrell formed a Christian rap music group with CCM's Jon Gibson called Holy Ghost Boys; some songs produced were called "Word" and "B-Boy Chill". "The Wall", featuring Burrell, was released on Gibson's album Change of Heart. This was Contemporary Christian music's
Skillet is an American Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996. The band consists of husband John and wife Korey Cooper along with Jen Ledger and Seth Morrison; the band has released ten albums, with two and Comatose, receiving Grammy nominations. Two of their albums and Awake, are certified Platinum and Double Platinum by the RIAA while Rise is certified Gold as of November 10, 2017. Skillet went through several line-up changes early in their career, leaving founder John Cooper as the only original member remaining in the band, they are known for a relentless touring schedule, which garnered them a top five ranking in the Hardest Working Bands of 2010 by Songkick.com. Skillet formed in 1996 with two members: John Cooper, former vocalist for Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph, Ken Steorts, former guitarist for Urgent Cry; the two bands met through touring together, but those bands disbanded soon after, so John and Ken's pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project.
They decided to name the experiment'Skillet'. After, Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month when they received interest from major Christian record label ForeFront Records. In 1996 they released a self-titled debut Skillet, it was well-received, the trio continued to write new material as they toured the United States. The question behind the name of the band,'Skillet', comes up among fans and the band itself. John Cooper, the lead vocalist and founder, explains; the two founding members had been in different bands, with each band having a different sound and style to its music. Cooper tells that the side project was said to be like putting all of those styles in a big skillet to come up with something unique, hence the band name'Skillet'; the band name is still somewhat of a joke between the band members Cooper, who claims to still not like the title. Skillet recorded their follow-up album throughout 1997, titled Hey You, I Love Your Soul, released in April 1998.
Their second effort was a change in style from the band's first release. With this release, Skillet would abandon their post-grunge approach for a lighter alternative rock and style, his wife Korey was enlisted soon after to play keyboards live in order to alleviate John's live performance duties. Shortly before the band began recording for their third album, Steorts left the band to be with his family and launch Visible Music College, a modern music ministry college located in Memphis, Kevin Haaland joined the band as their new guitarist. Korey Cooper played keyboards for the recording of Invincible; because of this change, the musical style on Invincible changed to a more electronic sound. Soon after the release of Invincible in early 2000, Trey McClurkin parted ways with Skillet, Lori Peters filled the drummer's position; the band released their first worship album, fourth album overall, Ardent Worship in late 2000. The band kept much of their sound from Invincible on their next album Alien Youth.
With little time between touring and recording, Skillet released Alien Youth on August 28, 2001, the first album that John Cooper took on production duties. Before the release of Alien Youth, Haaland left the band, Ben Kasica took over on guitar. In 2003, the band's sixth studio album, was released by Ardent Records and contained the singles "Savior" and "Collide". In 2004, the rights to Collide were bought by an imprint of Atlantic Records. On May 25, 2004, Collide was re-released with "Open Wounds" as an added track; the album was nominated for "Best Rock Gospel Album" in 2005. Citing P. O. D. as inspiration for the musical shift on Collide, Cooper said, "Well I'm one of these song writers, everything I hear goes through my John Cooper filter of what I like and what I don't like. All these things have been an influence on me." Skillet's album Comatose was released on October 3, 2006. It features the singles "Rebirthing," "Whispers in the Dark," "Comatose," "The Older I Get," "Those Nights," "The Last Night", "Better Than Drugs".
The album debuted at No. 55 on No. 4 on the US Top Christian Albums chart. In January 2008, Skillet announced that their drummer, Lori Peters, was retiring from the band, feeling that "it's time for her to come off of the road and start a new chapter in her life." Peters' last concert with Skillet was on December 31, 2007. However, during the 2007 Christmas season, she took the time to train Skillet's next drummer, Jen Ledger. On October 21, 2008, Comatose Comes Alive was released, it was shown on the Gospel Music Channel on December 5, 2008. Skillet's Comatose Comes Alive CD had a B-side with "Live Free or Let Me Die" as a single with five acoustic tracks which purchasers could download by inserting the CD in their computer; the Comatose album was certified Gold in sales by the RIAA on November 3, 2009. Skillet's eighth album, contains twelve songs and was released on August 25, 2009, it charted at No. 2 on the Billboard top 200 selling around 68,000 units in its first week. "Monster" was released as a single on July 14, 2009.
Contrary to popular belief, John Cooper stated. It was, released as a single in March 2010, they released a deluxe version with the extra songs "Dead Inside" and "Would It Matter", along with the original, radio edit of "Monster" that does not have the distorted growl as in the single and in the CD
Hootie & the Blowfish
Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band, formed in Columbia, South Carolina in 1986. The band's lineup for most of its existence has been the quartet of Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld; the band has been on a break since around 2008 but announced plans for a full reunion tour in 2019. As of July 2010, the band had charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts and recorded five studio albums, their debut album, Cracked Rear View, is the 19th-best-selling album of all time in the United States, was certified platinum 21 times. They have sold over 21 million copies of their albums in the United States; the group was popular in Canada, having three number-one singles in the country. Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan met when they were freshmen at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Bryan, a guitar player, heard Rucker singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal ability; the pair began playing cover tunes as The Wolf Brothers.
They collaborated with bassist Dean Felber, a former high school bandmate of Bryan's, Brantley Smith, a drummer, soon adopted the name Hootie & the Blowfish in 1986. The name is a conjunction of the nicknames of two of their college friends. Smith left the group after finishing college to pursue music ministry, but he has made scattered guest appearances with the band. Smith was replaced by Jim "Soni" Sonefeld; the band's lineup has remained the same since. The band independently released two cassette demo EPs in 2345 and 1992. In 1993, they pressed 50,000 copies of Kootchypop, they were signed to Atlantic Records in August 1993, after being discovered by Atlantic A&R representative Tim Sommer, a former music journalist and member of the art rock band Hugo Largo. Sommer recalled that other record labels were uninterested in signing Hootie & The Blowfish because their sound was radically different from the grunge music, popular at the time, their mainstream debut album was Cracked Rear View. Released in July 1994, the album's popularity grew after its release, becoming the best-selling album of 1995, was one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time.
The album, certified platinum in the United States in January 1995 and incrementally rose to 12x platinum by January 1996 and 16x platinum by March 1999. In May 2019, the certifications level was updated from 16x platinum to 21x platinum; the album featured four hits, "Hold My Hand", "Let Her Cry", "Only Wanna Be with You", "Time". The album's last single, "Drowning", was not as successful as its predecessors, peaking only on the Mainstream Rock chart. In 1995, Hootie & the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reached an out-of-court settlement for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in their song "Only Wanna Be with You". Miami Dolphins' Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino appeared in the band's video for the song "Only Wanna Be with You", along with several other athletes; the band won the "Best New Artist" award at the 1996 Grammy Awards. Hootie & the Blowfish appeared on MTV Unplugged on the eve of the release of their second album, Fairweather Johnson, it contained the hit single "Old Man and Me", sold four million copies in the United States.
Hootie & the Blowfish has since released three more studio albums: Musical Chairs, Hootie & the Blowfish and Looking for Lucky. They released a B-sides and rarities compilation titled Scattered and Covered; this album is named in tribute of a popular Southern chain of all-night diners. The title refers to an order of hash browns scattered on the grill, smothered with diced onions and covered with melted cheese. In 1995, Hootie & the Blowfish contributed the song "Hey, What Can I Do" to the Encomium tribute album to Led Zeppelin, their cover of Canadian group 54-40's "I Go Blind", released on the soundtrack to the television series Friends in 1995, did not appear on Cracked Rear View or Fairweather Johnson, but became a hit on radio in 1996 after three singles from Fairweather Johnson had been released. Both "Hey, What Can I Do" and "I Go Blind" were released on the compilation Scattered and Covered. In 1998, they performed on Frank Wildhorn's concept album of the musical The Civil War; the group covered the 1968 Orpheus hit "Can't Find the Time" for the soundtrack of the Jim Carrey movie Me, Myself & Irene.
Orpheus creator and the song's writer Bruce Arnold traded verses with Darius on several occasions, when the band played live on the West Coast. The band had an extensive touring schedule, including an annual New Year's Eve show at Silverton Las Vegas in Enterprise, Nevada. In 2008, the band started releasing their concerts as downloads through trueAnthem. In 2009, Hootie & the Blowfish performed live in a ballet which chronicled their rise and success in the 1990s. In 2008, Rucker announced in an AOL Sessions interview that Hootie & the Blowfish would be going on hiatus so Rucker could pursue his solo career as a country music performer. Although the band will no longer be recording or touring, Rucker confirmed that they will still perform their scheduled charity concerts, stating, "We have four charity gigs every year and we will still do them, but we will not do a record or tour." Rucker said that the split will last "for five or six years, or until I record three or four country albums". He amended his statement, saying, "To be honest with you, we're not split up right now, we're not thinking about splitting up."Rucker has recorded a solo
Styx is an American rock band from Chicago that formed in 1972 and became famous for its albums released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding hard rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads, incorporating elements of international musical theatre; the band established itself with a progressive rock sound in the 1970s, began to incorporate pop rock and soft rock elements in the 1980s. Styx is best known for the hit songs "Lady", "Come Sail Away", "Babe", "Boat on the River", "Too Much Time on My Hands", "Renegade" and "Mr. Roboto". Other major hits include "Don't Let It End", "Blue Collar Man", "The Best of Times", "The Grand Illusion", "Crystal Ball", "Fooling Yourself" and "Suite Madame Blue". Styx has had 4 consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA as well as 16 top 40 singles in the US, 8 of which hit the top 10. In August 1961, at 12 years of age, twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo first played music together with their 14-year-old neighbor Dennis DeYoung who played accordion and sang, while living in the Roseland, Chicago area using the band name'The Tradewinds'.
Chuck left to attend seminary school for a year but returned to the group by 1964. Tom Nardin had been brought in to replace Chuck on guitar, Chuck decided to play bass guitar when he returned to the band. John Panozzo was the drummer. In 1965, the Tradewinds name was changed to TW4 after another band, the Trade Winds, achieved fame nationally. By 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State College and kept the group together by performing at high schools and fraternity parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969 they added John Curulewski, after Nardin departed. Hard rocker guitarist James "J. Y." Young came aboard in 1970. In 1972 the band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records after being spotted by a talent scout at a concert at St. John of the Cross Parish in Western Springs, Illinois. Several suggestions were made and, according to DeYoung, the name Styx was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated"; the band released four albums: Styx I, Styx II, The Serpent Is Rising, Man of Miracles.
These albums contained straight-ahead rockers mixed with prog rock flourish with a lot of guitars, keyboards and vocals solos. They established a fan base in the Chicago area, but was unable to break into the mainstream, though the song "Best Thing" from Styx charted on September 16, 1972, stayed on Billboard's "Hot 100" chart for 6 weeks, peaking at #82; the power ballad "Lady", began to earn some radio time, first on WLS in Chicago in 1974 and nationwide. In the spring of 1975, nearly two years after the album had been released, "Lady" hit No. 6 in the US and Styx II went gold soon after. After the success of "Lady", "Best Thing" was re-released. On the heels of its belated hit single, Styx signed with A&M Records and released Equinox, which sold well and yielded a minor hit in "Lorelei", No. 27 in the US. More it contained the rock anthem "Suite Madame Blue", which gained the band considerable recognition and airplay on FM radio in the new Album Oriented Rock format. Following the move to A&M, guitarist John Curulewski left the band as they were to embark on a nationwide tour in December 1975, due to his desire to spend time with his family.
After a frantic last-minute search, the band brought in guitarist Tommy Shaw as Curulewski's replacement. Crystal Ball, the first album to feature Shaw, was moderately successful; the album showcased the band's newest member, as Shaw's "Mademoiselle" was another minor hit, reaching No. 36, the album's title track written and sung by Shaw became another AOR hit. Styx's seventh album, The Grand Illusion, was released on July 7, 1977, became their breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum certification, it spawned a top-ten hit and AOR radio staple in the DeYoung-written "Come Sail Away", which reached #8 in 1978. Shaw's "Fooling Yourself" was a second radio reached # 29 the same year; the title track received significant airplay. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, the band enjoyed its greatest success, their 1978 album Pieces of Eight found the group moving in a more straight-ahead hard-rock direction and spawned three Shaw sung hit singles "Renegade" and "Blue Collar Man", plus a minor hit "Sing for the Day" that stopped just short of the Top Forty at #41.
Their 1979 album Cornerstone yielded their first #1 hit, the DeYoung ballad "Babe". By early 1980, "Babe" had become the band's biggest international hit and first million-selling single, reaching #6 in the United Kingdom; the album included the #26 DeYoung hits upbeat "Why Me" and the rocker "Borrowed Time", co-written with Shaw, plus Shaw's folksy "Boat on the River", a hit in much of Europe and Japan. The popularity of the album helped win the band a People's Choice Award for Best New Song in 1980. At the 22nd Grammy Awards, Styx was a nominee for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Cornerstone's engineers Gary Loizzo and Rob Kingsland were nominated for a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording. On the success of "Babe", DeYoung began pushing for a more theatrical direction, while Shaw and Young favored a harder-edged approach; this arguing over musical direction led to a bit of tension in early 1980 after Young and Shaw objected to the ballad "Firs
Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Illinois. Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars. Although the band has no permanent drummer or bass guitarist, Jeremy Lutito and Gabe Ruschival of Disappointed by Candy fill these roles for live concerts. Past tour band members include Aaron Sands, Scott Savage, Joe Porter. Jars of Clay's style is a blend of alternative rock, acoustic, R&B; the band's name is derived from the New International Version's translation of 2 Corinthians 4:7: This verse is paraphrased in their song "Four Seven", which appears as a hidden track on the CD release of their self-titled album. Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Charlie Lowell and Matt Bronleewe formed Jars of Clay at Greenville College, in Greenville, Illinois in the early 1990s. Charlie Lowell first met Dan Haseltine after noticing that he was wearing a Toad the Wet Sprocket shirt.
Pursuing a career in music together was not their original goal. Their second guitarist Matt Odmark joined some time later. While in college playing together at local coffee houses, Jars gained a reputation for their original arrangement of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", adapted to the tune of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". In 1994, the band submitted a demo to a talent competition run by the Gospel Music Association and were selected as finalists, they won the contest. Back in Greenville, they self-released a limited-run of the same demo, after their song of the same name; the buzz from their performance in Nashville and the demo's popularity resulted in offers from record labels, so the band decided to drop school and move to Nashville. At this time, Bronleewe left the band to settle down with his fiancée, he was replaced with Matt Odmark, Lowell's childhood friend and fellow McQuaid Jesuit High School alum. The band signed with Essential Records and started recording their first full-length studio album, Jars of Clay.
Adrian Belew, of progressive rock band King Crimson, heard the band and offered to produce, leading to him producing two songs: "Liquid" and "Flood". The band's self-titled debut released in 1995; when the single "Flood" began to climb the charts on mainstream radio stations, Silvertone Records started to promote the song, turning it into one of the biggest mainstream hits by a band on a Christian label. The album has since reached multi-platinum certification according to the RIAA. "Flood" peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 12 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, was the band's only secular radio hit. The band toured in support of other Christian acts, such as PFR, aside mainstream acts like Matchbox Twenty, Duncan Sheik, Sting; this resulted in a small backlash from some Christian groups. The band released Drummer Boy, a Christmas EP entitled, at the end of 1995; the EP was re-released, on Silvertone Records, in 1997 with a different track listing on. The band's second album, Much Afraid, produced by Stephen Lipson was released in 1997.
The album sold well and went on to earn a Grammy award for "Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album". The album has since earned platinum certification by the RIAA, they released two music videos for this album for the songs "Crazy Times" and "Five Candles". In 1999, Jars of Clay released their third album, If I Left the Zoo, produced by Dennis Herring; the record earned the band their second Grammy award. It was during this time that touring drummer Scott Savage left the band's touring group to play for Jaci Velasquez and was replaced by Joe Porter. Lead radio single, "Unforgetful You", was featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture Drive Me Crazy. "Collide" was featured on the motion picture "Hometown Legend". Upon the release of If I Left the Zoo they released Front Yard Luge and after a year The White Elephant Sessions. If I Left the Zoo so far has the most singles released by Jars of Clay. In 2001, the four members of the band received honorary degrees at Greenville College. Only three of them, Haseltine and Mason, had studied at the school before dropping out in 1994 to move to Nashville.
Odmark still received an honorary degree, despite having attended the University of Rochester in upstate New York. In 2002, the band self-produced and released their fourth album, The Eleventh Hour, which earned them a Grammy award for the third album in a row; the album relied on studio musicians and the band's touring musicians to fill in for the band's lack of drummer and bass player. Concerts from the subsequent "Eleventh Hour Tour" were recorded for projects, including the release of a live concert DVD, 11Live: Jars of Clay in Concert; the double-disc Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage features an acoustic disc and a live disc. The acoustic disc consisted of reworked and rearranged fan favorites, two The Eleventh Hour b-sides, a cover of Adam Again's "Dig"; the latter was intended for a tribute album for Gene Eugene, who had died recently. The live disc features a recent concert recording that include songs from throughout the band's career; the band continued the acoustic and organic approach, featured on Furthermore for their fifth studio album entitled Who We Are Instead, which released on November 4, 2003.
On the album, the band revisited various styles they had used as well as experimenting with new influences, such as gospel and Nickel Creek's "newgrass" style. In early 2005, the band relea
Kenneth Eric Church is an American country music singer-songwriter. He has released six studio albums through Capitol Nashville since 2005, his debut album, 2006's Sinners Like Me, produced three singles on the Billboard country charts including the top 20 hits "How'Bout You", "Two Pink Lines", "Guys Like Me". His second album, 2009's Carolina, produced three more singles: "Smoke a Little Smoke" and his first top 10 hits, "Love Your Love the Most" and "Hell on the Heart". 2011's Chief, his first No. 1 album, gave him his first two No. 1 singles, "Drink in My Hand" and "Springsteen", the hits "Homeboy", "Creepin'", "Like Jesus Does". His third No. 1 single was "The Only Way I Know", which he, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan recorded for Aldean's album Night Train. A fourth album, The Outsiders", was released in February 2014, it produced five new singles between 2013–15 with the title track, "Give Me Back My Hometown", "Cold One", "Talladega" and "Like a Wrecking Ball". "Talladega" and "Give Me Back My Hometown" each reached number one on the Country Airplay chart.
Eric Church got his sixth No. 1 hit with Keith Urban in May 2015 with the single "Raise'Em Up". His fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood, was released in November 2015 and went on to produce two number one singles with "Record Year" and "Round Here Buzz". On July 13, 2018, Church released the first single and title track of his newest album Desperate Man, released in October 2018. Church was born on May 1977 in Granite Falls, North Carolina to Ken and Rita Church. Church worked with his father at Clayton Marcus, a furniture upholstery company where his father was president. At 13, he began writing songs of his own. By his senior year of high school, he had found a gig at a local bar, which occupied most of his time, he played a few of his own original songs in some dive bars. Some of these places were so rough. For a few years, the band played in bars and restaurants throughout North Carolina; the band "Mountain Boys" consisted of his college roommate, a fellow guitarist. Before moving to Nashville, Eric graduated from South Caldwell High School and Appalachian State University with a degree in marketing.
Upon graduation, Church became engaged to a Spanish teacher in the town of North Carolina. The future bride's father attempted to persuade Eric into a corporate career, which he rejected as an aspiring musician, she broke the engagement and he headed to Nashville with his father's financial backing. His father provided the opportunity to make contacts, more time to focus on developing his songwriting ability. Church co-wrote Terri Clark's 2005 single "The World Needs a Drink", the track "Whiskey Wings" on Dean Miller's 2005 album Platinum, he started recording with different producers. Capitol Nashville showed an interest and watched him perform but they were yet to be convinced enough to offer a recording contract. Autumn House-Tallant told HitQuarters; the record company's attitude changed. Doyle states, “Eric scored a meeting with Nashville heavyweight Arthur Buenahora, a publisher at Sony Music who signed Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. Church played him "Lightning", a ballad he wrote after watching the movie The Green Mile”.
The strong sound and direction the two forged together convinced Capitol Nashville that he was ready. His first single, "How'Bout You" peaked at No. 14 on Hot Country Songs and led off his debut album Sinners Like Me. In April 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. An 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 Rascal Flatts. In 2008, Eric Church released a fifth single, "His Kind of Money" to country radio, it debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at No. 55 in early 2008, reached its peak of No. 46 in August. Slated as the lead single to an upcoming second album, "His Kind of Money" was instead included as a bonus track on albums sold at Best Buy.
Following this song was "Love Your Love the Most", which debuted in early 2009 and was the first single from his second album Carolina, released in stores on March 24, 2009. The night before the official release and Capitol Records distributed copies of the album on the campus of Church's alma mater, Appalachian State University, during a "release party" concert; as with his debut album, Carolina was produced by Jay Joyce, is composed of songs that he co-wrote. "Love Your Love the Most" brought Church to the top 10 for the first time, peaking at No. 10 in September 2009. The album's second single, "Hell on the Heart", debuted in October 2009 and would hit the top 10 in May 2010; the third single from "Carolina" was "Smoke a Little Smoke". In June 2010 he moved to Capitol Nashville's new imprint EMI Records Nashville, becoming their second artist. On January 14, 2011, he released a four-song EP entitled Caldwell County. Church released "Homeboy" to country radio in early 2011; the album Chief, produced by Jay Joyce, was released July 26, 2011, debuting at No. 1 on both Top Country Albums and the Billboard 200.
The album sold 145,000 copies in its first week. On November 30, 2011, Chief was announced as a nominee for the 2012 Grammy Awards for Best Country A
Hunter Easton Hayes is an American country music singer and multi-instrumentalist. He is signed to Atlantic Records Nashville. Hayes released his self-titled debut album in 2011, it reached number seven on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top Country Albums, has sold over 1.1 million copies. Its most successful single, "Wanted", has sold over 3.5 million copies and made Hayes the youngest male act to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs. His second studio album, was released on May 6, 2014, was led by its first single, "Invisible". Hayes' commercial success and his talent both as a songwriter and instrumentalist has prompted Billboard to call him the Leader of Country Music's Youth Revolution, he has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and won the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012, along with three BMI Awards. Hayes was born on September 1991, at Larniurg Hospital in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, his parents both have Cajun ancestry, along with English, Scots-Irish, German.
Hayes grew up singing songs in both French. He began his career when he was 2. At 4, he began making appearances locally and on national television, including Maury, Rosie O'Donnell Show, the Nickelodeon game show Figure It Out, where he performed "Jambalaya". American Songwriter writes that "Hayes received his first guitar from actor Robert Duvall at age 6" At age 7, he was invited to perform for President Bill Clinton for a White House lawn party. At 13, he appeared on America's Most Talented Kids, a show hosted by Dave Coulier. In 2008, he moved from Breaux Bridge to Nashville and signed with Universal Music Publishing Group as a songwriter. In 2010, Hayes co-wrote "Play" for the Rascal Flatts album Nothing Like This. In September, he was signed to Atlantic Records Nashville and began working on what would become his major-label debut. Hayes appeared as the opening act of 10 dates of country star Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour throughout the summer of 2011 and concluded his leg of the tour in St. Louis, Missouri.
In April 2011, he had gone on his own radio tour where he debuted songs that would appear on his debut album. His debut headlining tour was the Most Wanted Tour. Hayes and singer Victoria Justice contributed a duet to the soundtrack of 2011's Footloose remake, recording a cover of Mike Reno's and Ann Wilson's 1984 hit "Almost Paradise" from the original film. From January to February 2012, Hayes was the opening act on the Rascal Flatts "Thaw Out" tour. "Where We Left Off" is an original song, written by Hayes, that can be heard on the soundtrack for the 2012 war film Act of Valor. During the 2012 O Music Awards, The Flaming Lips broke a Guinness World Record for most concerts played in multiple cities in a 24-hr. Period. Hayes was the opening act for them at the Hattiesburg stop. In May 2012, Martin Guitars named Hayes as C. F. Martin & Co.'s newest brand ambassador. American Songwriter quoted Hayes on the subject: "It is an absolute honor to be named an official Martin Ambassador and to be recognized by the Martin family."On September 7, 2012, he was inducted at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame as its youngest member.
The debut single was "Storm Warning", released to radio on May 16, 2011. His self-titled major-label debut album was released on October 11, 2011, he co-wrote every song, played every instrument, along with Dann Huff, produced the album. "Wanted", the second single, was released to radio on March 5, 2012. On July 24, 2012, he appeared on the CBS's The Talk, where he was given an RIAA Gold Certification plaque for "Wanted". Just shy of two months since "Wanted" went gold, the song was certified Platinum by RIAA on August 23, 2012. "Wanted" became his first No. 1 single, making him the youngest solo male act to top Hot Country Songs, breaking the record set in 1973 by Johnny Rodriguez. Twenty weeks after first appearing in the top spot and under a new chart format, "Wanted" returned to the top spot. "Somebody's Heartbreak", the album's third single, went to No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. Starting September 14, 2012, Hayes began appearing as the opening act on 90+ dates for Carrie Underwood's Blown Away Tour.
He was nominated for three Grammys including Best New Artist at the 2013 Grammy Awards. The album's fourth single, "I Want Crazy", from the deluxe Encore edition, was released to country radio on April 7, 2013, it peaked at number two on the Country Airplay chart in August 2013. Following it was "Everybody's Got Somebody but Me", a re-recording of a song from the original press of the album; the re-recorded version features guest vocals from Jason Mraz. Hunter was one of five country singers. Hayes performed "Invisible," the lead single from his second album, at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Storyline was released on May 6, 2014. In an effort to promote his album and to raise awareness to end child hunger, Hunter broke the Guinness World Record for the most concerts played in multiple cities in 24 hours held by The Flaming Lips. On July 20, 2016, Hayes's self-titled debut album was certified double platinum by the RIAA. On November 2, Hayes performed with four holograms of himself on Jimmy Kimmel Live's after the CMA show.