Eric Church Gears Up for CMA Awards Performance

He'll Deliver a Live Version of Title Track From 'The Outsiders'

Eric Church is ready for criticism. He just released the lead single from his upcoming studio album The Outsiders and, yes, he knows it's a little bit different, a little more outside the box than what we're accustomed to hearing from him.

So when he debuts the live performance of "The Outsiders" on Wednesday's (Nov. 6) CMA Awards, he says he's prepared for various reactions from the crowd -- anything from "crowd-surfing" to "mosh pits" to "throwing cans," according to Nashville's daily newspaper, The Tennessean.

Church has tried to avoid the self-scrutiny, as well, as he prepares for the release of The Outsiders. Admittedly, it's hard for him, especially when the new project follows his critically-praised Chief, a Rolling Stone magazine favorite and the reigning CMA and ACM album of the year. How do you follow a smash that has those kind of stats?

"That's the most popular question right now," Church recently said. "I don't look from a standpoint like, 'This is what the Chief record did, and this is what the next record will do.' It's not a hurdle that this next record has to clear."

Instead, Church says he'll focus on the creative and let the rest take care of itself.

"When we made the Chief record, we made it from a creative standpoint," he said. "So creatively, I'm going to put more expectations on it than any other person can put on it."

Church has solidified his reputation through intense live performances, so CMA performance will definitely be one you don't want to miss. The awards show airs live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

The Outsiders will be released Feb. 11.

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