Eric Church shocked fans with a new album called Mr. Misunderstood on Wednesday morning. By midnight, America had heard the title track. Church performed the acoustic country-rocker during the 2015 CMA Awards, passionately delivering the everyman message to the Bridgestone Arena and viewers at home.

"Mr. Misunderstood" will relate to Church's group of outsiders. It's a song about a rebel fighting society's chains. “They tried to file my points, sand my edges and I just grew out my hair,” Church nearly shouted towards the end, long after a full band had joined in to turn a simple acoustic track into an all out jam.

Until Wednesday night, no one from Church's team had even recognized that he released an album. Fans and select media were surprised to find a copy in their mailbox. Some got a digital version, while others received it on vinyl. News of the 10-track album began to leak on Twitter and the singer's Church Choir message board. Finally, just as the 2015 CMA Awards were beginning, his publicist released Church's letter explaining how the album came together. Mr. Misunderstood is now available on iTunes.

Church is nominated for five CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. He also opened the show singing "Are You Ready for the Country?" with Hank Williams Jr. Next August he'll headline WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Courtesy of Eric Church
Courtesy of Eric Church

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