Eric Church brought a dose of rebel cool to the stage of the 2016 ACM Awards. The "Record Year" singer took a break mid-performance for a multi-song mix tribute to recently deceased rockers like David Bowie and Glenn Frey.

Church began his performance of "Record Year" in front of the same chalkboard fans find on the cover his new Mr. Misunderstood record. That wasn't the only reminder of the project he dropped out of nowhere shortly before last year's CMA Awards. It was a pretty normal performance until mid-song when a deejay began mixing vinyl copies of albums by David Bowie, Motorhead (Lemmy Kilmister died in December) and the Eagles. It was a multi-song tribute, during which Church simply sat back and enjoyed it.

McKinley James is the kid who was spinning those records. He's the same teenager that starred in Church's video for "Mr. Misunderstood." At the end, Church — a 2016 WE Fest headliner — gave a familiar fist pump and roar, a sign that his big risk had worked tremendously.

The country superstar is one of the biggest nominees during the awards show Sunday night (April 3) in Las Vegas, including major categories like Album, Male Vocalist, Song, Vocal Event and even Entertainer of the Year. He was among the early winners, notching a victory for Video of the Year for his "Mr. Misunderstood" video, which touches on a universal theme and speaks to the alienation of youth everywhere.

The award stunned Church and his manager, John Peets when it was announced Friday (April 1). “It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe it all,” says Peets. “It’s crazy. We did this record, we did it all kind of secret and decided to make our video really quick ...”

“It’s the cheapest video ever that ever won Video of the Year, I’ll tell you,” Church adds. “It’s just us!”

Church dropped the Mr. Misunderstood album without warning on the day of the CMA Awards in November of 2015, and debuted the song at the live ceremony that night. "Record Year" is the second single from that project.

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