Eric Church is set to finish 2014 as country music’s top-selling artist with the highest debut and sales of any release in the format for 2014 as the critical and commercial success The Outsiders reaches Platinum status, marking more than 1 million in sales.
The Outsiders was one of the year’s top albums regardless of genre as verified by Billboard. Released Feb. 11, the album sold more than 288,000 copies in its first week. That stood up as 2014’s fourth biggest debut (only behind Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Coldplay). The sales earned Church inclusion a prestigious list of international pop stars as 2014’s top-selling artists including Swift, Beyonce, Sam Smith, and Lorde.
The Outsiders also won the Album of the Year Award at this year’s inaugural American Country Countdown Awards.
The EMI Records Nashville release was a hit with critics and tastemakers as well and is popping up on many best-of year-end lists. Rolling Stone says the album “is full of future classics” and American Songwriter lauds Church’s previous work and says, “‘The Outsiders’ dwarfs all of it in sheer scale and grandiosity.”
The album was strong enough to garner Church four GRAMMY nominations bringing Church’s career total to seven. Church received nominations in all four genre categories: Country Album of the Year for “The Outsiders,” Country Song of the Year and Country Solo Performance of the year for “Give Me Back My Hometown,” written by Church and Luke Laird, and Country Group/Duo Performance of the Year for “Raise ‘Em Up” with Keith Urban.
Church received the news of his Grammy nominations while on his critically acclaimed The Outsiders World Tour that currently features Dwight Yoakam and Halestorm and, according to Pollstar, has already sold 382,112 tickets over 33 shows. “At the center of the spectacle was the Chief himself,” Rolling Stone wrote of Church’s Louisville, Kentucky, stop. “The guy doesn’t just sing — he shouts, cackles, croons and generally freaks the hell out. Is it all a performance? Maybe. But it’s believable, too.”
American Songwriter raves, “Above all, Church unfurls a mythology of artistic rebellion against the commercial establishment, complete with an anthem, a creed, a hymn to survival and an origin story, each delivered with the gravitas, bluster or poetic delicacy that they deserve.”