Country music is currently under Chris Stapleton’s spell. The Kentucky native turned Nashville star has taken the country and bluegrass genre by storm following the release of his debut album Traveller. Stapleton has dominated music awards this year, winning two Grammys, five ACM awards, and three CMA awards among others. He is currently touring to sold out shows, but just who is Chris Stapleton? Here’s four facts to know about country music’s newest sensation.
1. He has made his mark as a songwriter
Before he was known as a solo artist, Stapleton acted as a prominent songwriter. He has penned six number-one hits, notably Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” and Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer.” Artists from all over the map have recorded songs written by Stapleton, including country powerhouses George Strait, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean. Even Adele has gotten her hands on one of his songs, “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” a bonus track on a special limited edition of her monumentally successful album 21.
2. He was the frontman of two different bands
From 2007-2010, Stapleton served as the lead singer of The SteelDrivers, a bluegrass band. The group nabbed a 2009 Grammy nomination before Stapleton announced his departure from the band the next year. Soon after leaving The SteelDrivers, Stapleton joined a group called The Jompson Brothers, which he is still a member of today.
3. He’s already made history
No artist had ever won Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the same awards show—until Stapleton shattered that record. He swept all three categories at the 2015 CMA Awards, where it became clear that he was the real deal. It was at that same show that he performed with another equally impressive man, Justin Timberlake.
4. He is arguably the most recognizable country singer
Thanks to a burly frame and an impressively long beard and hair, Stapleton is an easy figure to pick out from a crowd. Especially when his country counterparts include the clean-shaven likes of Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, and Kenny Chesney, Stapleton’s unique look makes him stand out. Just don’t count him out because of his appearance before you recognize his talent.