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ERIC CHURCH NAMED 2011 iTUNES COUNTRY BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

NPR Music, Amazon and Rolling Stone Magazine Recognize CHIEF as one of Top Albums of 2011

Nashville, Tenn. (Friday, December 9, 2011) – EMI Records Nashville’s Eric Church celebrates new accolades this week as iTunes names him their 2011 Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and his latest album CHIEF is featured in iTunes’ Best of 2011 section. In addition, NPR Music hails CHIEF as one of their Top 50 Albums of the Year noting, “On his third album, Church hits his stride, chronicling wild nights and epic hangovers with just the right amount of critical distance." The album also landed an impressive spot at No. 19 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 50 Best Albums of 2011 and it sits at No. 9 on Amazon's Best Country Albums of 2011.

While Church's current Top 10 single "Drink In My Hand" climbs the Country Billboard chart, his song "Springsteen," from CHIEF was named No. 30 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 50 Best Singles of 2011.

These latest acknowledgements cap off a year full of impressive accomplishments for Church including his first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Country Album category for his third studio album and chart-topping release, CHIEF. The album hit stores on July 26, 2011 and held the No. 1 position on both the Billboard Top 200 and the Country Albums Chart, selling over 145,000 in its first week and reaching RIAA Gold-certification in merely 10 weeks.

Church’s most recent accolades are in addition to the 2011 ACM Award for New Solo Vocalist of the Year and combined, have laid the groundwork for his recently announced headlining tour, The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour, which is scheduled to hit 50 markets in 2012 beginning with Fort Smith, Arkansas on January 19.

“I am so grateful for the many ways CHIEF has changed my life,” shares Church. “There is no cooler thing as a recording artist than when people tell you that your music matters to them. Every single day the momentum for this record gets bigger and stronger, and I can’t wait for next year to share this music with the people who truly made this happen. It’s gonna be one hell of a tour!”

For more information on Eric Church, visit www.ericchurch.com.

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