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Eric Church: Health Scare & Harsh Words For Garth

Eric Church is interviewed for a cover story in “Rolling Stone” and inside he opens up about a secret health scare he had to deal with last year.

One night at his home in North Carolina Eric noticed that his left arm and chest were swollen, so he drove himself to a nearby hospital, but then had to drive himself to another one half a hour away for an ultrasound. There, doctors discovered that he had a blood clot in his chest and needed surgery. Eric notes, “I said, ‘Can it kill me?’ And he said, ‘Today.’ And I said, ‘I need to make a phone call.’”

Eric was then transported to Duke University Hospital and had been up about 36 hours at this point. “They took me into the ICU and I thought, ‘OK, I’m gonna go to bed, get up in the morning and do this thing,’ ” he said. “But when I walk in the room, the surgical team is there and the [doctor’s] in scrubs. He says, ‘We’re gonna go now.’ That was really when it hit me. To them, I was going to die.”

Turns out Eric had thoracic outlet syndrome, a birth defect in which the topmost rib is too close to the collarbone, and he wound up having another surgery to remove the collarbone. Eric was actually really lucky they caught it when they did. “Normally, if you’re athletic, you’ll start having issues at 21, 22, 23,” he says, noting that it is unusual to find it in people his age until it’s too late, adding, “They just fall over in the shower.” 

In the same interview, Eric has some choice words Garth Brooks, who beat him out for CMA Entertainer of the Year. Eric says he was “fine” losing the award, but was “irked” that Garth lip-synched during his performance on the show. “To me, lip-syncing is and always will be a red line,” he shares. “It’s fabricated.” Garth claimed he didn’t sing because his voice was shot from touring, but that made Eric even madder. “So the winner of the biggest category of the night lip-synced in the biggest moment on the show? F**k that,” he says. “I didn’t like his excuse at all...I’m not lip-syncing. If I can’t sing, I won’t sing, or I’ll sing badly. But at least you’ll get what you get.”

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