PHOTOS: Throwback to Eric Church’s Early Days

North Carolina Native Turns 41 on Thursday (May 3)

One of Eric Church’s first trips down any red carpet was at the 2006 CMT Music Awards.

Back then, the world was still getting to know him. He was two years into his record deal with Nashville’s Capitol Records at the time, and the video for his debut single “How ‘Bout You” had yet to be released.

Frank Mullen/WireImage
Rick Diamond/WireImage

In honor of the North Carolina singer’s 42nd birthday, let’s revisit more of Church’s earliest memories from the days when he was a rising artist.

  1. Church attends the 2006 ACM Awards.

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACMA
  2. Church and Dierks Bentley hug it out at a 2006 ACM Awards afterparty.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage for Capitol Records Nashville
  3. Church performs at Nashville’s 2006 Grammy block party.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage
  4. Church and Kris Kristofferson are photographed at the 2006 BMI Country Awards.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage for BMI Nashville
  5. During his 2007 club party, Church gives back by planting trees at Nashville’s East Park.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage
    Rick Diamond/WireImage

  6. Church performs at Marty Stuart’s 2007 Late Night Jam at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage
  7. Church smiles with Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hansen at the 2007 BMI Country Awards.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage

  8. Church takes a class photo with fellow artists and label reps at a 2007 CMA Awards afterparty.

    Rick Diamond/WireImage
  9. Church performs at the inaugural Stagecoach music festival in 2007.

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images