Morgan Wallen And Luke Combs Credit Eric Church For Igniting The Fire In Them To Pursue A Career In Country Music

Wallen and Combs both credit Eric Church for inspiring them to pursue a career in country music.

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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 August 2, 2023

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Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of Instagram – Eric Church, Luke Combs; Photos By Andrew Wendowski

Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs are inarguably two of the hottest stars in country music at the moment, both dominating the charts and earning top nominations at awards shows. And while they have distinctive sounds in their own right, the artists share a common thread — they both credit Eric Church for inspiring them to pursue music.

Wallen and Combs previously appeared in separate interviews, sharing how they connected with Church in the early parts of their respective careers — something that helped them define themselves in an ever-evolving format.

Luke Combs Credits Church For His Career In Country Music

In a preview clip for an episode of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s USA Network Television series, Straight Up Steve Austin, Combs reflects on a time when he wasn’t actively listening to country music.

He says it was getting introduced to Church through a college friend that ultimately changed his perspective and provided the turning point that led him into envisioning a music career path of his own. 

“I think the reason myself and my parents stopped listening to country music at that time, it wasn’t at that moment in time as relatable. A lot of guys got heavy into the beach, it was getting more poppy sounding at that time,” Combs revealed during the sneak preview of the episode, dubbed “Muddin’ With Luke Combs.” “And not to say I’m Merle Haggard, because I’m not, I’m not claiming to be that either, but that was the big shift.”

“When I got to Appalachian State, a guy that lived on my floor brought in an Eric Church CD and said, ‘Hey this guy went to college here, you should check him out,’” he continued. “Once I heard Eric, I was like, ‘This is something I can relate to, and if he can do that and he’s from here, and I’m from here, I can do that.’ And that’s kind of where the fire caught spark for lack of a better term.”

RELATED: Luke Combs Recalls Getting So Drunk With Eric Church That He Got Sick On His Way Home

Eric Church Also Ignited The Fire In Morgan Wallen

Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of Matthew Paskert
Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of Matthew Paskert

For Wallen, the same can be said. While Wallen isn’t from North Carolina like Combs and Church are, he grew up just a short drive away, across state lines in Knoxville, Tenn. And, it wasn’t until the 30-year-old “Thought You Should Know” singer attended one of The Chief’s concerts that he truly caught the musical bug. 

“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,” Wallen, who, in the past, has referred to Church as his musical hero, told ET Canada.

These days, Wallen and Church are buddies. They’ve collaborated on a song called “Man Made A Bar,” which appears on Wallen’s highly ambitious 36-track album, One Thing At A Time. They’ve also shared the stage a multitude of times.

Wallen And Church Shared A Full-Circle Moment

In the summer of 2022, Wallen marked his first-ever stadium show with Church at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wallen celebrated the occasion on Instagram by reflecting on the first time he saw Church in concert, writing, “Eight years ago, I went to my first concert. It was an Eric Church concert at Thompson Boling Arena. His energy and his fans’ 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.”

“Fast forward eight 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,” he continued. “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.”

RELATED: Morgan Wallen Says He Is “Super Grateful” For His Friendship With Musical Hero Eric Church: “I Respect Him So Much”

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

Wallen is on the road as part of his One Night At A Time World Tour, which runs through 2024. A complete list of tour dates for Morgan Wallen’s One Night At A Time World Tour can be found HERE. 

Meanwhile, Combs is on his massive 2023 World Tour, which kicked off on March 25. The trek is scheduled to wrap up on October 20, with back-to-back shows in London, England, at The O2 Arena.

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Written by

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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