All aspiring singers who are equally passionate about their kind of music are stars in their own way. Not everyone, however, will shine at the same time. The same could be said about this “When the Stars Come Out” singer. Let’s revisit his journey.
Chris Stapleton’s Season for Fame
From a Travis Tritt fan to a songwriter and the SteelDrivers band’s frontman, Chris Stapleton had his equal share of a steep climb to celebrity status.
Between 2010 and 2013, he and his band, The Jompson Brothers did regional concert tours. His big break came with the release of his debut album, Traveller, in May 2015. Not only did it top the charts, but also won Stapleton three CMA (Country Music Association) Awards, four Grammy nominations, a Platinum certification, and a packed schedule for roadshows.
Keeping his sophisticated taste for music, Stapleton’s success was not short-lived. In 2016, he worked on his second album called, From A Room that though divided into two parts, did not disappoint in its potential to draw attention from the music elites. From A Room: Volume 1 released in May 2017 became CMA’s Album of the Year while From A Room: Volume 2 released in November won the Grammy for Best Country Album.
March of the following year, “Broken Halos” from A Room: Volume 1 was no. 1 on Country Airplay chart. This led to another string of awards at the 52nd CMAs including Song and Single of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. These successive winnings made Stapleton one of 2018’s top earners.
2015, CMT Music Awards — CMT Performance of the Year (nominated)
2016, CMT Music Awards — CMT Performance of the Year (nominated)
2018, CMT Music Awards — nominee for Video of the Year, Collaborative Video of the Year, & CMT Performance of the Year
Chris Stapleton as a Stand Out Talent
Without the need to re-invent the wheel, Stapleton’s musical style is reminiscent of country music’s glory days. As expected from a Kentucky native, bluegrass music is in his blood. That did not limit his artistic flexibility though. The sounds of blues and R&B were evident in his music, but without them overpowering that country feel which seasoned fans have long-time admired. Without a doubt, he is a music genius!
Other Musical Influences & Inspiration: Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzel, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Freddie King.
Chris Stapleton: The Brilliant Songwriter
Having proven that he is worth his salt, Chris Stapleton could well line-up among the most sought-after songwriters. He co-wrote three of Justin Timberlake’s songs for his 2018 album, Man of the Woods. In fact, their collaboration for “Say Something” effortlessly entered the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100.
Other stars he has co-written with were Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Kendall Marvel, and Tim James.
Chri Stapleton’s songwriting career began when he moved to Nashville in 2001. Unknown to many, his songs earned hits for some of our favorite Country singers including George Strait’s “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” Other famous artists who also recorded his songs were Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Bryan.
For those fond of movies, Stapleton also made remarkable contributions for the soundtracks of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Trip, Hell or High Water, Valentine’s Day, and Cars 2.
To date, Stapleton has written more than a hundred and fifty songs.
On-Screen Special Appearances
April 2019 – as a wight in “The Long Night” (Game Of Thrones, HBO)
January 2016 – musical guest in “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Adam Driver
Final weeks of The Late Show with David Letterman – musical guest
The People Behind Stapleton’s Success
Morgane Hayes Stapleton – Chris Stapleton’s talented wife who is also a singer-songwriter. She co-wrote “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie underwood.
Their duets performed were well-received by the public including their cover of “Amanda” by Don Williams (2013) and “You Are My Sunshine” for Dave Cobb’s Southern Family project (2016). Of course, their performance on the National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert back in 2015 could not be easily forgotten.
Morgane shares the credit for the success of her husband’s second album, “From A Room: Vol. 1” as she was the one who picked most of the songs. The album won Album of the Year during the 2017 CMA Awards.
Herbert Joseph Stapleton, Jr. – Chris’ father who was a coal miner in Lexington, Kentucky. He was noted by Chris as the inspiration for Traveller, the album which brought his son huge success. Following Mr. Stapleton’s death in 2013, Chris went on a road trip with his wife. They drove from Phoenix, Arizona and arrived in Nashville where they found their fortune.
The Stapleton Babies – Funny how the couple receives multiple blessings both in their career and as parents. In April 2018, it’s a double win for the couple when along with the birth of their twins; Chris won Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year during the 52nd ACM Awards hosted by Reba McEntire. Seven months after, another Stapleton baby’s on the way. That makes it five little Stapletons and who knows if there will be more coming! It sure sounds promising as these may follow their parents’ musical path in the future.
Before Stardom, What was Chris Stapleton Like?
Because we’re well-acquainted with Chris’s long beard and blond locks, it’s hard to imagine that he was once a clean-shaven lad from the small town of Staffordsville. That young and meek-looking Chris was not to be underestimated though. He graduated as valedictorian from Johnson Central High School. A smart cookie, he took engineering at Vanderbilt University but dropped out early. Soon, he found his passion for music, pursued it, and did well.
Family Background: Born to Herbert Stapleton Jr. who was from a family of coal miners and Carol J. Stapleton who was a health worker. His birth name was Christopher Alvin Stapleton. He had two siblings named Henry Joseph III (older brother) and Melanie Brooke (younger sister).