Morgan Wallen went on a golfing trip last spring that led to fishing and a new friendship with someone he’s “always admired,” that person is Country music hitmaker, Eric Church.
While co-hosting Country Countdown USA alongside Lon Helton, Wallen looked back on the relaxing getaway he took with The Chief, noting that “it was awesome.”
“We started hanging out then, I don’t know, we just became buddies. I guess we kind of have a similar attitude or whatever it is,” the East Tennessee native explained to Helton. “I know he doesn’t publicly come out and have a lot of buddies and he’s always been my country music hero; he’s one of the main reasons that I sing country music.”
Wallen continued to explain how Church inspired him to launch a career in Country music.
“When I first started getting heavily into country music, it was his songwriting and the way he painted the pictures that made me want to do the same,” Wallen added.
“So it’s really cool to consider him an actual friend now,” Wallen admitted. “I’ve always admired him.”
At the time, Wallen shared photos on social media of him and Church fishing and hanging out on a golf cart. “Couple them southern boys” he wrote on Instagram.
Wallen has gone from watching Church perform on stage to performing alongside him, which was a surreal moment for the “Sand In My Boots” singer. He remembers being in the audience during one of Church’s shows several years ago and seeing all the passion that he had on stage. Before he had a large fan base of his own, Wallen looked up to Church and hoped to someday make the audience feel the same way that Church had made him feel that night.
“There was something different about how he approached the whole thing and you could just feel how much it meant to him,” Wallen explained.
Last year, Wallen had a full circle moment when he joined his friend and fellow artist on stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during a stop on Church’s sold-out Gather Again Tour.
“It’s unreal to me to think about that 20-year-old kid… being so in tune with what he was doing, so fired up. It’s pretty crazy to think seven years later I’m up there on that same stage with him and getting to share those moments with him. I think he knows, I hope he knows how much that meant to me,” he added.
This was also the first time that he and Church got to perform “Quittin’ Time” together on stage. “Quittin’ Time” is a track featured on Wallen’s chart-topping sophomore project, Dangerous: The Double Album, which was co-written by Church, Luke Laird and Josh Thompson. Fans were not expecting to see Wallen that night, however, they were thrilled and offered a thunderous applause as he entered the stage.
Throughout the performance, Wallen harmonized with Church and had the entire crowd singing along, and from the standing ovation they received upon his exit, it seemed as though it was truly an unforgettable moment for the fans and a dream come true for Wallen.
In September 2021, the country hit-makers joined forces and performed together once again at Justin Timberlake’s bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville for the Supper Club’s soft opening at The Twelve Thirty Club.
Wallen and Church sang several songs including a duet of Church’s chart-topping single “Springsteen.” That night Wallen also joined Church on acoustic guitar, singing two tracks off his award-winning project, Dangerous: The Double Album, including “Silverado For Sale” and “Sand In My Boots.”
The superstar pair also shared a jam session together in late June 2021, where they sang “Sand In My Boots” during a low-key hang alongside HARDY and Darius Rucker.
Church previously praised Wallen during an interview with Billboard, “He’s real damn good, and he’s authentic, That’s the key. Morgan is not trying to be somebody else. He’s just doing him. It’s refreshing to see and hear.”