It was one Entertainer of the Year winner paying homage to another Entertainer of the Year winner.
When the Academy of Country Music’s reigning co-Entertainer of the Year Thomas Rhett (who took home the trophy alongside Carrie Underwood last year) recently appeared on The Bobby Bones Show, he took the opportunity to praise Eric Church as his “favorite country artist of all time.”
“As far as just me growing up and really falling in love with the craft of songwriting and a guy that can just perform the crap out of a show, it would be Eric, for sure,” said Rhett. He added that Church’s “These Boots,” is one of his favorite songs, alongside Merle Haggard’s “Misery and Gin.”
While Rhett earned the ACM’s Entertainer trophy last year, Church earned the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year honor in 2020.
It’s not the first time the “What’s Your Country Song” singer has revealed he looks up to Church as an artist and writer. During an interview on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast, Rhett said when he was first launching his career, he wanted to be Eric Church.
“Everything about me wanted to be Eric Church. I wanted to dress like Eric Church, I wanted to wear Ray-Bans like Eric Church on stage, I wanted to write songs like Eric Church, and I tried it,” he explained. “My whole first record was a straight-up country rock and roll record produced by Jay Joyce, who produces all of Eric’s albums. And as I got into it, I was like ‘Dang, that didn’t work for me’ and it’s because I was trying to be him, I wasn’t trying to be Thomas Rhett.”
Rhett kept working on his music and found his own voice and his own perspective, which led to his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2013 with “It Goes Like This.” Since then, he’s earned a string hits, including the six-time multiplatinum smash “Die A Happy Man,” and “Be A Light” which featured Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Lady A’s Hillary Scott and CCM star Chris Tomlin.
During the interview, Rhett also revealed whether he and wife Lauren, who married in 2012, plan to keep expanding their family. They are parents to daughters Willa Gray, Ada James, and Lennon Love.
“Me and Lauren are just kinda at the point where our house is so chaotic anyway, as we continue to have kids, I definitely want to have a boy, but I doubt my wife would stop until we have at least five or six. So, we’ll see.
“Wow, you really think you will go five or six in?” Bones asked.
“I think so, man, I really do,” Rhett said. “I don’t really have a say so. If Lauren wants six kids, we’re probably going to have six kids.”