Eric Church was crowned Entertainer of the Year during the CMA Awards on Wednesday night, but before the night's big award, the Chief took the stage for a performance of his newest song, "Hell of a View." Dressed in all black and his signature Ray-Bans,
"This ain't for everybody / Toes hanging off the ledge / Like we got nothing to lose," he sang, accompanied by backing singer Joanna Cotten's powerful harmonies. "Ain't always heaven baby / This living on the edge / You holding me holding you / It's a hell of a view." "Hell of a View" was written by Church, Casey Beathard and Monty Criswell and follows a couple who decides to leave their hometown despite the risks they might face, as long as they're together.
Church first shared the song with fans in October, and it's one of 28 that the singer and his collaborators recorded 28 days earlier this year during a writing retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. The song will likely be included on Church's next project, though he has not yet announced an upcoming album.
During the show, the 43-year-old won Entertainer of the Year for the first time in his career and noted in the press room after the show that it was "hard" for him to accept the award this year because of the losses so many people have experienced.
"If you look at the CMA, whatever award show you want to say, there's not really been winners this year," he told PopCulture.com and other media. "Nobody's played, nobody's done the things that we normally do. It's been a year, to me, of losses. It's been a year of managing those losses. So it was really hard for me to accept this award, which I have wanted forever, not for me, but for the people that work so hard and they push those carts up and down ramps and they stay up all night long. Not me or the band, but the guys that put us on stage."
Church added that "the hardest thing was to stand there in 2020 and understand that you win that award."
"But this year is more about what the losses are," he continued. "It's about loss of life, which I said on-stage. It's about loss of education for your kids. It's about loss of time playing. It's all those things. But I really meant what said that we were in a room together as country music on this night, live, and that's not happened this year. So I think that was a win for country music and I think it was a win for where we're going to go in the next year."