Chris Stapleton Dedicates His CMA Male Vocalist Of The Year Win To Late Friends: ‘I Miss You Guys’

Chris Stapleton continued his history-making winning streak in the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year category on Wednesday evening during…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

November 9, 2023


1:04 pm

Share on:

Chris Stapleton, Photo Courtesy CMA Awards

Chris Stapleton continued his history-making winning streak in the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year category on Wednesday evening during the 57th Annual CMA Awards. 

What Awards Did Chris Stapleton Win At The CMAs?

The soulful singer earned his seventh career win in the category, extending his run as the artist with the most wins in the Male Vocalist of the Year category in CMA Awards history. He broke that record in 2022 with his sixth win and extended it this year with his seventh.  

Stapleton had a huge smile on his face when he took to the stage to accept the honor. Throughout his gratitude-filled speech, the Kentucky native thanked his family and his team and gave a shoutout to his fellow nominees. 

YouTube video

“Thank you,” he began. “Thank you, CMAs. I mean, every one of these guys in this category deserve this award. I’ve won a couple of these and I’m always shocked that I win one and I’m humbled here, here tonight to get to stay in such a wonderful crowd of people. I want to thank my wife Morgan, who I don’t want to do any of this without her. Certainly don’t get any of these without her. And what? Well, I want to thank everybody, everybody on my team that worked so hard for us to do these things. And I’m so thankful to get to continue to be part of the country music community. And I’m really, really grateful that you, lemme do this and keep on doing this.” 

Emotional Dedication

He appeared to hold back emotions as he dedicated his win to two friends that passed away this year: Mike Henderson, who was one of his longtime collaborators and co-founder of The SteeDrivers, and Eric Burrows, a former member of Stapleton’s security team. According to Taste of Country, Burrows held the title of director of security for Stapleton from 2016-2021. 

“Thinking about a couple friends I lost recently this year, Mike Henderson and Eric Burrows. I want to send this one out to them. I learned a lot from Mike writing and [Eric] protecting my family for a long time. I miss you guys. Thank you,” Stapleton said in closing. 

Chris Stapleton; Photo by Jamie Schramm/CMA
Chris Stapleton; Photo by Jamie Schramm/CMA

Following his acceptance speech, the “White Horse” singer made his way backstage where he shared a bit more about his relationship with Burrows. 

“He toured with us quite a bit,” the singer/songwriter told media. “Took care of my family. Did security on the road. He passed away the day before yesterday, and he was just on my mind.”

“The kids loved him dearly,” Stapleton added. “We loved him dearly. He was a wonderful man.”

Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton; Photo Courtesy of CMA
Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton; Photo Courtesy of CMA

What Song Did Chris Stapleton Sing At The CMA Awards?

Stapleton’s wife, Morgane, was by his side at the show. They walked the red carpet together and later performed “White Horse.” Stapleton also joined Carly Pearce for a performance of “We Don’t Fight Anymore” during the show. 

Stapleton will release his highly anticipated new album, Higher, on November 10. The 14-track release includes “White Horse,” and was recorded at Nashville’s iconic RCA Studio A.

YouTube video

Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards aired live on Wednesday, November 8 on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The star-studded show featured performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and more. 

Always known for epic collaborations, the 2023 CMA Awards also featured a Jimmy Buffett tribute from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Mac McAnally, and Zac Brown Band, a not-to-be-missed performance of country classics from Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, and HARDY, a performance honoring The Judds from Jelly Roll and K. Michelle, plus special duets from Old Dominion and Megan Moroney, and Little Big Town with Tanya Tucker.  

Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, Nate Bargatze, Kevin Cahoon, Jordan Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Sara Evans, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Martina McBride, Parker McCollum, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Corey Seager, Gerry Turner, Keith Urban, Hailey Whitters and Chris Young appeared to present during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” 

Those who were unable to watch the show in real-time can watch the CMA Awards now on Hulu. 

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.