In 2012, all the stars came together for Eric Church as he escalated from singing about Bruce Springsteen to drawing Springsteen-size crowds.
After years of near-misses, Church scored his first No. 1 single in January with "Drink in My Hand." His Blood, Sweat & Beers tour kicked off with a good omen -- a sellout in Bloomington, Ill., that caused him to add a second show there. Sweetest of all, he sold out his hometown venue, Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, in May.
By June, demands for Church concerts were so great that he extended his tour to 45 cities, taking it into late December. His album Chief was certified platinum in June, as well, and in November was named the CMA's album of the year.
Church ended his spectacular year with two Grammy nominations.