10 Things you didn't know about CMAs winner Chris Stapleton (VIDEO)

Nov 4, 2015 at 10:53 p.m. ET
Image: Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Chris Stapleton is more than just the latest breakout artist to win a Country Music Award.

More: 2015 CMAs live winners list

Stapleton may have just picked up his first CMA Award as a solo artist, but his music career is long and decorated. Here are 10 things you may not have known about country music’s biggest up-and-comer.

1. He’s a highly respected songwriter

For the last 15 years, Stapleton has been writing No. 1 hits for artists like George Strait, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker and Josh Turner.

2. He has some hardware already

Stapleton has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, and his bluegrass band, The SteelDrivers, won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award.

3. His backup singer is his wife

Morgan Stapleton is his partner in both life and music.

4. He never expected to get famous

"You kinda make records and you hope for good things to happen, but you don't know what's gonna happen, and that's part of the fun of it," Stapleton told ABC News before the CMAs. "But then, nothing I could've thought would've happened would be as good as what this year's been. So I'm just gonna try to enjoy the moment of it, 'cause it may never happen again. So I'm just thankful for it."

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5. He plays all the parts on his album

"I'm playing electric guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitar. I'm singing on it, singing harmony with myself in some places on it. It could not be more me," Stapleton told Rolling Stone last spring. "It's really easy to go out there — and I'm not knocking anyone — and hire guys to do all these things for you. But for me, this is a great representation of what you can come and see live, and possibly connect with."

6. Recording Traveler was a lot of fun for him

"It felt more like a great hangout with your buddies," he said. "We booked a studio for noon and would start piling in at 1, 2, 3 o'clock, just hanging out and talking a bunch of shit. We'd order dinner, have a few drinks and it'd be about 8 at night. We'd record for an hour and it would be two or three master takes.”

7. He thinks his sound is old-fashioned

"If somebody tells me it sounds dated, I'd say that's great, as long as the date is 1978,” he explained. “My favorite things are from then, and why wouldn't you want to try to be like those things? Inevitably, it's just going to sound like me anyway.”

8. He doesn’t care if you don’t like his music

"I'm a fan of polarization. If you make something that is palatable to everybody, it's like making vanilla ice cream, and I think we have enough of that," he said.

9. But he’s still a good guy

He quickly added, "But I'm not trying to insult anybody — music or ice cream."

10. He’s best buds with Justin Timberlake

Though, if you watched the CMAs, you already know that — Timberlake performed with Stapleton during the show.


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