Eric Church: CMA Awards’ Entertainer of the Year and Poster-Child for All Outsiders

by Caroline Bynum

Eric Church gets it. 

He’s an Outsider. So much so, he has a full song- scratch that- a whole album on the group of us who fall under the category of ‘Outsiders.”

Together, alone, the Outsiders
We’re the riders, we’re the ones burning rubber off our tires
Yeah, we’re the fighters, the all-nighters

The Outsiders by Eric Church

Here at, we believe that to the core. It’s not an exclusive clique nor a club with limited entry. It’s a group of folks who appreciate the unity that comes from the outdoors and the group of people who built this great nation. We’re a strong family of believers in hard work as well as balanced-lives. Outsiders are you and me.. And, yeah, Eric Church.

Our website states our belief in the outdoors and the community it can spark: “It is more than just the freedom to roam: it’s also about the freedom to roam together… Nothing brings people closer like exchanging knowledge and experiences.”

We’re Outsiders because of our dedication to the outdoors and our dedication to one another. We are Outsiders because no matter how we look, who we vote for, where we are from, or what we make for a living, there is one thing that will always connect us: We are all Outsiders… As Church says, “Together, alone, the Outsiders.”

So, why is Eric Church the poster-child of the Outsider clan? Buckle up.

‘Mr. Misunderstood’ is King of ‘The Outsiders’

“It’s a different kind of cloth that we’re cut from,” Church sings in the 2014 title track. It’s sturdy, unbreakable cloth. Fabric that’s been passed down from generations. This cloth is far from afraid to get dirty.

Eric Church represents the opposite of the ‘in’ crowd. He’s proud to lead the misfits and the hard-workers and the misunderstood folks. He proudly leads all who fit in the category of Outsiders. Without a doubt, Church has the edge to sing to, and with, those who fight and build and support our nation.

Church’s “Mr. Misunderstood” also speaks to the hearts of our crew. He speaks to young kids finding their way and those who feel misunderstood in the division today.

“One day you’ll lead the charge, you’ll lead the band,” he sings while inspiring hope. “Always left out, never fit in // Owning that path you’re walking in // Mr. Misunderstood.”

Great lyrics, genius melodies, and a bad a– man behind it all. Good stuff, Mr. Misunderstood.

Whether It’s Music or Sports, Eric Church Cheers for the Entire Team

Eric Church is a music fan, yes, but he’s also a huge North Carolina Tar Heels basketball fan. He grew up watching the games with his family and quickly learned the lesson that sports, as well as music, can bring people together.

“A lot of it is being in that moment and having that experience,” he told Adam Lucas in an interview shortly after The Outsiders album’s release. “There’s a camaraderie and a feeling that everyone in that building is in this together.”

Furthermore, he tells Lucas that a shared moment is something attendees carry on forever. “Being involved in a big game, you’re all there together and experiencing it together, and when you leave you share that forever. To me, that’s truly a magical thing—whether it’s sports or music—to have that with 15 or 20 thousand strangers.”

Shared moments leading to a shared understanding… agrees. After all, it’s written on “Our Story” page: “If you’re like us, you believe that sharing experiences makes us stronger and nothing brings people closer like exchanging knowledge and experiences.”

Whether it’s through sports or music or outdoor adventures, we’re all outsiders together. And that fact alone is something we can all cheer for. Community through a touchdown or a tune or a trek through the woods; we’re in it together.

He gave a similar message in his comments following his recent Country Music Association Awards victory…

Eric Church Calls for Unity in His Entertainer of The Year Acceptance

Of course, last night at the CMA Awards, Eric Church took on a new role. He’s been “Mr. Misunderstood” and talked about “Boys Like Me.’ But now, he has officially secured a new title: CMA Entertainer of the Year.

Well earned and deserved, Eric Church received the 2020 award at the socially-distant event that hosted country artists and zero fans. His speech was timely and humble. What’s more, it was what us Outsiders are all about: coming together and getting through the rough patches.

“It’s gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that is going to save the entire world. Politicians are about division. Music is about unity,” he says.

In a press conference following the event, he gave a similar message.

“When you go to a concert and your favorite artist plays your favorite song, and you throw your arm around the person next to you, you don’t worry about whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat, whether he’s pro-life or pro-choice,” he shared with fans. “You’re in that moment and you’re pulling on the rope the same way. I think what we’re missing right now in America is more of the stuff that unites us versus what divides us.”

He has aimed to deliver that unity through his music multiple times before. Earlier this year, he released “Stick that in Your Country Song,” a call for people to open their eyes and work together to solve issues that are usually overlooked.

“Stick that in your country song, yeah // Take that one to number one, yeah // And get the whole world singing along, man,” he sings, calling the masses to sing (and speak out) about problems ailing our nation. Music will get us through this. Music is about unity.

So, congrats Eric Church. You earned it– 2020 is somethin’ else, but your music is a light in this darkness. You are CMA’s 2020 Entertainer of the Year. Congratulations.

Also, thank you. Thank you for leading us Outsiders in song. Music is gonna get us through this. We’re gonna come out stronger and more united.

When it hits the fan, and it all goes down (and yes, in 2020, it has absolutely hit the fan.)
And the gloves come off
You’re gonna find out just
Who we are (Outsiders.)
We do our talking, walk that walk

The Outsiders by Eric Church

It’s hit the fan and the gloves are off… “Together, alone, the Outsiders.”