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Chris Stapleton: 5 Things To Know About The Big CMA Awards Winner

Wed, November 4, 2015 10:25pm EDT by 3 Comments

Chris Stapleton was a HUGE winner at the CMA Awards this year, but who exactly IS this up-and-coming country superstar?! Get to know the southern singer with 5 fast facts here!

Not just ANYBODY gets to perform with Justin Timberlake at a country music awards show…but at the CMAs, one very lucky newcomer got the chance. Chris Stapleton totally killed it on stage with the pop star, and then went on to take home multiple awards at the show. Learn more about him here!

1. He’s an incredibly successful songwriter

You may have never heard Chris on the radio until this year, but that’s because he’s done most of his work behind the scenes. He has written over 150 hits for country superstars, six of which have made it to the No. 1 spot on the charts. Some of his most recognizable songs include Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer” and Thomas Rhett’s “Crash And Burn.” Not too shabby!

2. It took awhile to establish himself as a solo artist

Chris first tried to break out as a solo act in 2013, but his breakout single didn’t do well on the radio. He had a second chance in 2015, though, when he released Traveller. It received rave reviews and peaked at No. 2 on the charts, with “Tennessee Whiskey” being the most recognizable song. It’s a good one, too, and even won Album of the Year at the CMAs!

3. His late father inspired Traveller

The 37-year-old’s father died in 2013, and following the tragic time in his life, he took a road trip, which was the inspiration for his debut album. He took the trip with his wife, Morgane Stapleton, also a songwriter, who played a huge part in helping him sift through songs to choose for the record.

4. He’s also been in bands

Before trying to make it on his own as an artist, Chris was in two bands. From 2008-2010, he was the lead singer for The SteelDrivers, and they were even nominated for three awards at the Grammy Awards in 2010! But he left the group in April of that year, and wound up starting a new group, the Johnson Brothers, later that year. They opened for Zac Brown Band during their short-lived career.

5. He had no problems securing Justin Timberlake for the show

Even before he was certain he had a performance slot at the CMAs, Chris had the pop singer roped in. “I called him up and asked him if he’d be interested in doing it and he was like, ‘Yeah man, I’m in. Just tell me when to show up.’ So here we are, we’re gonna do it!” WHAT?! Is that all it takes to hang out with Justin Timberlake??? And how come no one told us before?

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HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Chris Stapleton? Do you think he deserved winning the CMA Awards he did?

— Alyssa Norwin