Did you know that on this day in Country Music History in 2006 Eric Church made his Grand Ole Opry debut?

It's true! He performed his debut single, "How 'Bout You," then segued into the Leadbelly song "Black Betty".

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Here are 5 interesting facts about Eric Church.

  • His real name is Kenneth Eric Church.
  • At 13, he bought a guitar and 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 graduated from South Caldwell High School and then Appalachian State University with a degree in marketing.
  • Upon graduation, he got engaged. 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.
  • He wears his signature aviator sunglasses as a result of wearing contact lenses. When his career was getting started, he was forced to deal with the heat from the stage lights drying out his contacts. As he began performing in larger venues, his aviators and Von Dutch denim trucker hat became his signature trademark.