Morgan Wallen Admits “It’s Pretty Mind-Blowing” To Have A Duet With His Musical Hero Eric Church

“Once I saw [Eric Church] in concert that, kind of, ignited a real fire in me that maybe I could be like that one day,” Wallen admitted.

By

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on March 12, 2023

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Morgan Wallen, Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for ACM

Morgan Wallen released his third studio album, One Thing At A Time, on March 3. The highly ambitious 36-track offering features duets with HARDY and ERNEST as well as a collaboration with Wallen’s sister Ashlyne.

The project also includes a duet with Eric Church on a song called “Man Made A Bar,” a tune that is destined to have major radio success.

The collaboration, which appears as the No. 4 track on the album, delivers a unique perspective on the purpose of bars and honky tonks. Together, Wallen and Church sing of the heartbreak that comes from getting out of a relationship with a woman created by a higher power. They croon how it took men to come together to build a bar so they could drown their sorrows and nurse their broken hearts.

God made the world in seven short days / He said it was good, I bet it was great / And God made a man, the man got lonely / He said ‘Please Lord if I could only / Have an angel to hold in my arms’ / So God made a girl, his best work of art / Oh, but he didn’t make no place to go when she breaks your heart / So man madе a bar,” the country artists, who each take a verse of the song, sing throughout the chorus.

Listen To Morgan Wallen’s Duet With Eric Church Below

YouTube video

Interestingly, “Man Made A Bar” was not written by Wallen or Church, it’s an outside cut co-written by Rocky Block, Jordan Dozzi, Larry Fleet, and Brett Tyler. 

While recently co-hosting the Country Countdown USA, Wallen discussed his current album and shared how “Man Made A Bar” fell into his hands. He also revealed the backstory of how he and Church came together to duet on the song.

“Larry Fleet actually sent me that song,” Wallen said, adding that the tune was one of the last songs that made the record. “He sent me two songs one day, and I heard that one. I was like, ‘Yep, I like that a lot.’ And I didn’t even really think about features, man. I was on such a time limit. I was trying to get the album done.”

Morgan Wallen and Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Morgan Wallen and Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

How Did Morgan Wallen Get Eric Church On “Man Made A Bar”?

“So, literally, the last week, I started [being], like, ‘Whoa! Maybe I ought to get a couple of my friends on here, at least. So I hollered at Eric and was like, ‘Man, I think this is the song we should do together.’”

And, it turns out, Church agreed. 

“He said, ‘Absolutely.’ So he showed up on Monday and sang it and did his thing on there,” Wallen said. “He absolutely crushed it. That was a cool day for me.”

What makes the Wallen/Church collaboration even more special is the “You Proof” hitmaker has long been a fan of Church. In the past, he has revealed that Church was the person who inspired him to pursue a career in country music. 

“It’s pretty mind-blowing,” he told ET Canada of getting to duet with Church. “I just fell in love with everything that he did. Once I saw him in concert that, kind of, ignited a real fire in me that maybe I could be like that one day.”

Eric Church & Morgan Wallen; Photo by Anthony Dangio
Eric Church & Morgan Wallen; Photo by Anthony Dangio

Since then, the heavy hitters have teamed up numerous times to perform at each other’s shows. Wallen, whose career has skyrocketed to unimaginable levels, enjoyed his first-ever stadium show with Church in the Summer of 2022 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wallen Recently Shared A Milestone Moment With His Musical Hero

At the time, Wallen took to Instagram to share a message of gratitude for reaching a level of success where he could work alongside his musical hero

“8 years ago, I went to my first concert. It was an Eric Church concert at Thompson Boling Arena. His energy and his fan’s energy put a fire in me that night in Knoxville, Tenn. I knew right then I wanted to create something as real and genuine as what I witnessed with him and his fans,” Wallen captioned alongside a series of performance photos.

“Fast forward 8 years, E is a near and dear friend to me, and I got to share the stage with him last night. I like to think maybe some of those same people in Thompson Boling Arena with me in 2014, were in US Bank Stadium with me last night as well. Moments like these make me truly grateful for this life and for this music I get to make and perform everywhere. Thank you, guys, for making it possible.”  

Now that the two are in the same business, they work together a lot. The Chief even has a songwriting credit on Wallen’s record-breaking Dangerous: The Double Album with “Quittin’ Time.” And, when Wallen was being honored at the 15th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Honors, it was Church who surprised him, appearing on The Ryman stage to present him with the ACM Milestone Award.

YouTube video

Wallen And Church Have Become Like Brothers

With that, Wallen and Church are good buddies outside of the job, having gone fishing and golfing with each other on numerous occasions. 

The two have become so close-knit, like brothers, that they talk every week. 

“Eric Church has become a big part of my life. We don’t talk every day, but we talk weekly. I respect him so much, and look up to him so much, and now I have access to his knowledge and just things that he’s been through,” Wallen shared. “And mostly, we just have a great friendship. We joke around, and we laugh just like most friends do, but I also have him as someone who is looking out for me in a way, as someone, who’s been through this before. And yeah, super grateful for that.”

“It’s been really, really cool to have him as a friend, mentor and collaborator,” Wallen previously told ET Canada.

Church also echoed that sentiment in a separate interview on the Country Countdown USA, telling Helton, “There are a lot of these younger guys that I’ve become friends with. With Morgan, we talk weekly. The thing I like about him is he’s a genuine person, and real honest. We enjoy spending time together. We go fishing, we’ve written songs, and it’s become a neat friendship for me.” 

Morgan Wallen, Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for ACM
Morgan Wallen, Eric Church; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for ACM

“Eric, he’s been a very important person in my life, too, long before I even called him a friend. He inspires me in a lot of ways, not only as an artist but as a man, too,” Wallen said. “I think the fans will be excited about the song with Eric Church, just because they know how much that means to me,” he previously explained to Spotify. “Plus, it’s a really good song.”

Morgan Wallen Will Soon Embark On His Biggest Tour Yet

Wallen will soon take the road for his first-ever stadium tour, dubbed One Night At A Time World Tour. The tour officially kicks off on Wednesday, March 15 in Auckland, NZ at the Spark Arena. The U.S. leg of the tour begins on April 14 with back-to-back nights at Milwaukee’s American Family Field. 

Marking one of the largest tours of 2023 so far and the biggest tour of Wallen’s career, the 63-show trek will visit 30 stadiums, plus arenas, amphitheaters, and festivals to fans across four countries and two continents. The trek will feature support from ERNEST and Bailey Zimmerman on all dates. HARDY and Parker McCollum will also appear on select dates.

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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