The 10: Chris Stapleton

chris stapleton the 10

“The 10” is an article series offering interesting, unique and sometimes not so well known factoids. Today, we’re writing about GRAMMY award winning country, bluegrass musician Chris Stapleton.

Stapleton, a Leiper’s Fork resident, will co-headline Pilgrimage Festival in September at Harlinsdale Farm. Stapleton moved to Nashville in 2001, making a name for himself in country, bluegrass and Americana circles. Here are 10 things you may not know about Chris Stapleton.

1Stapleton Was Valedictorian of His Class

Stapleton is not only a master songwriter, but he’s pretty smart too! He was born and raised in Paintsville, Kentucky and attended the local high school where he graduated as the Valedictorian.

2Signs Publishing Deal Within Days of Moving to Music City

Stapleton made the move to Nashville in 2001 where he landed a publishing deal just four days after his move. “Four days later I had a publishing deal. Which is not — that is not anybody’s story, but that’s mine, ” he told CBS News. 

Chris and Morgane Stapleton
credit- Getty Images

3Chris’ First Date With Now Wife, Morgane, Was a Songwriting Session

Stapleton met his now wife, Morgane Hayes at a Nashville publishing company in 2003. Morgane would sit in her friend’s office at Sea Gayle Music and wait for Stapleton to arrive. “Eventually he asked me to write a song with him, and that ended up being our first date. We didn’t get much writing done that night,” said Morgane to the Washington Post.

4Stapleton is a Father of Four

Morgane announced the arrival of twins in an Instagram post in October “14 years, 2 babies, & 2 more on the way. Happy 10-year anniversary babe! You make my whole world go round.” The twin boys were born in Nashville earlier this month, the couple has two older children, one boy, and one girl.

5Stapleton’s Drink of Choice is Bourbon

Stapleton has written songs about whiskey and beer but that’s not his drink of choice. Stapleton told the LA Times he’s not into beer but prefers bourbon. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. But I like bourbon. I’ll stick with that.”

6Major Songwriting Credits

Stapleton began his career as a songwriter. He’s penned songs for Luke Bryan (Drink a Beer), George Strait (Love’s Gonna Make it Alright), and Darius Rucker (Come Back Song) just to name a few.

7Stapleton Once Worked at Papa John’s

He was that guy making pizzas at Papa John’s. Stapleton even says he keeps a memento to remind himself of where he came from.

“I keep a little badge in my medicine cabinet at home — where I worked at Papa John’s for a time,” he says. “Every time I open my medicine cabinet, I see it as a reminder that I worked a lot of different things to be doing what I’m doing now,” reported CMT. 

8Stapleton’s First Nashville Gig Was Playing on the Street

If you walk around downtown Nashville, you will often see folks performing on the sidewalk. Stapleton posted an old photo of himself (pre-beard) on Instagram, with the caption. “My first Nashville gig ever. Played on the sidewalk of 2nd avenue for 1hr. Made $20. Best hourly wage I’d ever earned at the time.”

9Before Launching a Solo Career, He Played in a Band

Stapleton joined the Bluegrass Band SteelDrivers where they made their Opry debut back in 2008. He continued with the SteelDrivers until 2010. Stapleton then performed with The Jompson Brothers before a solo career.

Chris Stapleton - Justin Timberlake
credit-Andy Barron

10Stapleton & Justin Timberlake Continue to Create Music Together

In 2015, when Stapleton and Timberlake performed at the CMA Awards Show, it was the highlight of the show. Since then, the two have released a new song, “Say Something” where Stapleton performs with Timberlake, Stapleton also wrote two tracks on Timberlake’s Man of the Woods album – “Morning Light,” a duet with Alicia Keys, and “The Hard Stuff.” Stapleton told Billboard, “I play guitar on the very first sound you hear on ‘Filthy.”  Stapleton continued by saying, “That’s me playing with a delay pedal on a jazz master. We were around makin’ music [for Man Of The Woods], and it was a great time.”

Will the two perform together again, maybe at Pilgrimage Festival 2018 where Stapleton is set to perform?


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