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Eric Church Recalls Being Kicked Off the Rascal Flatts Tour, Received Gift from Taylor Swift

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter
By Zachary Holt

Country star Eric Church has always been known for being somewhat of a partier and living life to the beat of his own drum. Well, at one point that finally cost the singer and songwriter. At the time, he was opening up for the very successful country group, Rascal Flatts. The fame in 2006 was still something relatively new for Church, though.

Suffice it to say that he really didn't take it seriously that often, consistently starting his set too late and then going over his time limit, meaning the headliner's act was further delayed. Despite multiple talks with the band members, he was finally kicked off the tour and replaced by a girl named Taylor Swift. However, the young country artist made sure to give Church a parting gift to show there was no disrespect between the two.

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Church Gets Kicked Off Tour For Being Stubborn and Lacking Punctuality

Gettyimages | Jason Kempin

Eric Church has been around for almost two decades since that learning experience. He's won countless awards and is up for even more this year. The story was still worth telling, though, which he shared at the Country Radio Seminary that was recently held in Nashville.

"Doing my own thing and just being stubborn about it early on, yes, got me kicked off there," Church said when asked about the incident. When he left the tour, he jokingly told Swift that he wanted her gold record for her hit song, 'Tim McGraw', as a consolation prize. Little did Church know that Swift would honor that request.

Taylor Swift Gives Church Her Gold Record For 'Tim McGraw' to Show 'No Bad Blood' Between the Two

Gettyimages | Neilson Barnard

"She wanted to make sure there was no bad blood," Church said referrring to Swift taking his spot on the tour. "She had just had the 'Tim McGraw' song. I joked with her and said 'You owe me your first gold album.' Four days later ... sure enough, she came to a show of mine and she had [a gold album]. I still have it. It's in the Hall of Fame, I think. It said, 'Eric, thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Rascal Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it."

Despite Church being kicked off, Rascal Flatts tried to reason with the country artist and gave him multiple chances to do better. It was obviously to no avail for Church and his tenure on the tour.

Band Members Tried to Talk to Church About Punctuality Issues to No Avail

Gettyimages | Frederick Breedon

"We asked him four times to stay to the allotted amount of time that he had to play," bassist and vocalist, Jay DeMarcus shared with The Boot. "We sat him down in our dressing room and were like, 'Look. We’ll put you on early so you can play longer. But please, just be off the stage because we still have to do our show'."

Unfortunately, after Church was given a final warning, he showed up 20 minutes late and then played beyond the allotted time he was given. That was the last straw for the new star. He was promptly fired from the tour the next day.

Rascal Flatts Claimed Church Was 'Disrespectful', Sent On His Way

Gettyimages | Rick Diamond

"It was just a bit disrespectful because when you’re an opening act, we did our best to abide by the rules that the headliner laid out for us," DeMarcus continued. "And you just do that and there was no goodwill being sent back to us, and it wasn't worth the trouble, so we said, 'See ya.'"

Although it was certainly a learning experience for Church, it hasn't seemed to affect his career at all, as he's been nominated for 30 total ACM Award nominations, including three this year for songwriter of the year, the song of the year, and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 2020 ASM Awards are slated for Sunday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

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