Chris Stapleton’s Surprise Win at the Country Music Awards
Music Mix Daily Staff
Chris Stapleton, with his long beard, longer hair, and signature country cowboy hat was the surprise winner of the Country Music Award’s (CMA’s), heading home with three major awards on Wednesday evening: Best New Artist, Best Album for Traveller, and Best Male Vocalist. Not only did Chris win big, he also performed his hit song “Tennessee Whisky” to a standing ovation alongside Justin Timberlake.
Chris is late to the game, releasing his first music at the age of 37. However, he had written songs for others long before that, including songs for Kenny Chesney, Adele, and George Strait. Yet, despite his older stature and long-time involvement in the music industry, the success of Chris Stapleton at the CMAs is being heralded as a paradigm shift in the country music world. Too many Nashville old-timers have been saddened by the formulaic, auto-tuned style of country music that has been showcased and produced in recent years.
Stapleton’s songs don’t have this usual chord structure but are still very true to country music. His latest album, Traveller, is raw and real. In fact, several other stars gave the singer-songwriter a nod of the head during their own acceptance speeches. When Miranda Lambert accepted her Best Female Vocalist Award, she said “Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton, thank you very much. I’m going to go home and practice.”
And what does Stapleton himself have to say about his newfound success? In his own words, backstage at the award show: “It’s surreal, very unbelievable…I feel very loved.” On stage, he was even more sentimental, sharing that, “About two years ago, I lost my dad and I made this record thinking about a lot of music he would like. … My mom is here tonight. I want to thank my mom.” He also shared that the whole evening was “overwhelming” and his goal was to “handle it [the wins] with some degree of grace.” What a sweetie!