Eric Church is known for his shady look in sunglasses, but on some occasions, his fans have been able to sneak a peek of the country singer-songwriter without sunglasses on. He is performing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LV.
While you’re unlikely to see Church performing without his iconic sunglasses, he has appeared for events without wearing sunglasses. In his early days, stretching back to 2006, he even appeared for cover shots without his sunglasses. Read on to see more photos of Church with no sunglasses.
Church is taking the stage with Jazmine Sullivan to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The opening of the 2021 Super Bowl will take place at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time February 7, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Church Wears Sunglasses Because He Is Sensitive to Light But Typically Only Wears Them During Shows
Although it may seem like Church is always wearing sunglasses, he does not wear them all the time. His Ray-Bans have become his trademark, but he wears them for practical reasons during performances.
“If I’m not playing shows, I usually don’t wear them. But my eyes don’t do real well in lights. So if I’m playing shows, I’ll have shades on,” Church told CMT before taking the stage at Joe’s Bar in Chicago on February 13, 2014. “It doesn’t feel right if I don’t.”
His aviator glasses weren’t a part of his look in his early days. CMT reported that from about 2006 to 2009, his brown eyes were visible on his album covers and in music videos including “Two Pink Lines,” “Guys Like Me” and “Love Your Love the Most.” Around the time of his release of “Smoke a Little Smoke” in 2009, his eyes nearly disappeared behind his sunglasses.
He talked about his sunglasses during a 2012 interview with MikeAdamOnAir, and said the aviators help with his sensitivity to light. He thought the move could be negative, and he wasn’t planning at the time to make the accessory a part of a signature look.
“I wear contacts and my eyes don’t do real well with lubrication, but we would play all these bars and clubs and the par can lights… I’m 6’3, so they would bake my contacts and they’d fall off. So I ended up being blind on stage,” he said in the video interview. “Someone suggested glasses and it worked. What’s funny is it stuck. It was never thought out. We never thought, ‘This would be good.’ We actually at the time thought this is not good… but it ended up being a thing.”
In 2006, he was at the CMT Awards without sunglasses and at the CMA Awards with no sunglasses. He also attended the Stagecoach Music Festival in 2007 with no sunglasses. In more recent years, Church attended the Nashville Best Cellars Dinner without wearing sunglasses in 2015, and he was spotted in 2017 with George Strait and Kenny Chesney at the Nashville Honors Gala without sunglasses.
Church Said He Would Never Sing The National Anthem Because ‘It’s So Hard’
Church was shocked when he was asked to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the opening of the 2021 Super Bowl. He has said for years he would never perform the National Anthem, he told Apple Music Country.
“I’ve said this forever: ‘I will never, ever sing the National Anthem,'” he said. “It’s so hard.”
The invitation was one he never expected.
“I fully assumed — I mean, I’m not Chris Stapleton. I fully assumed they’re never going to ask me,” he said, according to Taste of Country. “When they asked, I thought, ‘S***,’ you know?”
He was even initially unsure whether he would accept the invitation, the news outlet reported.
“My first response was, nuh-uh … I can’t,” Church recalls. “I’m a stylist, not a vocalist.”
His performance with Sullivan is being arranged and produced by Adam Blackstone, and after hearing the arrangement, he knew he could not pass up on the opportunity.
“I heard [his arrangement, and] I thought, ‘That’s cool; that sounds like me,’ and then I heard [Sullivan], and I’m not missing a chance to sing with her,” he said. “And that was it. Once I heard her voice, I said, ‘Okay, I’m in.'”