Entertainment, On A High Note

Up & Coming Artist Spotlight: Chris Stapleton

If you’re a fan of Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker or George Strait, then you’re familiar with the work of Chris Stapleton.

With his impressive catalogue of hits and notable songs, it’s surprising he hasn’t already catapulted into the fame he deserves. With a new album out and an array of national recognition, Chris Stapleton is one of Nashville’s best up and coming artists.

The edgy musician performed with Justin Timberlake at this year's CMA Awards. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS STAPLETON

The edgy musician performed with Justin Timberlake at this year’s CMA Awards. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS STAPLETON

An accomplished songwriter in his own right, Stapleton has co-written songs ranging from Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” to Adele’s “If it Hadn’t Been for Love” off her record-breaking album, 21. With a rugged sound that accentuates the singer’s husky vocals, you’d never imagine he’s the man behind the songs of some of today’s biggest crossover country artists.

And it seems the Kentucky native is as popular now as ever. Releasing his solo debut album “Traveller” earlier this year, it’s clear that Stapleton is ready to show country music who he is.

Naturally, each song on the album is co-written by the singer and features songs like the laidback “Tennessee Whiskey” and the gritty “Nobody to Blame,” which was recently released as the album’s second single.

Stapleton garnered national attention when he performed the song on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” but it wasn’t his first time on the legendary nighttime talk show. He and his wife Morgane sang the album’s title track last spring when David Letterman was still at the helm, making his network television debut.

Locally, Stapleton has been making the rounds. He opened for Jason Isbell at one of his sold out shows the Ryman last month and has donned the recent covers of “American Songwriter” magazine and “ASCAP Playback.” He’s received a lot of love from NPR,  being named to NPR Music’s list of Favorite Albums of 2015 (So Far), their Tiny Desk Concert series and a review from music critic Ken Tucker on NPR’s Fresh Air program.

The cover art for Stapleton's latest album "Traveller." PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS STAPLETON

The cover art for Stapleton’s “Traveller” which won the 2015 CMA Award for Album of the Year. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS STAPLETON

If you tuned into the CMA Awards last evening, you witnessed his incredible performance with Memphis native, Justin Timberlake, one of the special guest appearances of the evening. He was also nominated for three of the night’s biggest honors – winning all three – Best New Artist, Best Male Artist and Album of the Year.

Hitting the road in the US and abroad, Stapleton has upcoming shows in places like Chicago, San Francisco and Miami before heading overseas to Europe for gigs in Dublin, Glasgow and London.

But local fans can look forward to seeing him on New Years’ Eve in Nashville for the Jack Daniel’s Bash on Broadway, which is sure to be an unforgettable and unique way to ring in the new year.

Whether he’s writing the next hit song or creating a powerful country album, Sports & Entertainment Nashville can’t wait to see what one Music City’s most interesting artists has in store for the music world. The opposite of mainstream and a flawless example of a soulful artist, Chris Stapleton is clearly just at the start of his established career.



Watch Stapleton’s incredible performance of Tennessee Whiskey and Drink you away with Memphis-born superstar Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards.