Chris Stapleton – From Engineer to Country Music Legend

Stapleton is one of country music’s most successful singer/songwriters.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 4, 2023

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Chris Stapleton; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

Age: 44 Years (Born April 15, 1978)

Estimated Net Worth: $12 million

Genres: Country music, Bluegrass, Americana

Chris Stapleton Biography

Chris Stapleton is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who got his start in the industry by writing an impressive collection of hits for well-known artists including George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Lee Ann Womack, and more. He was born a son of a coal miner on April 15, 1978, and raised in Lexington, Kentucky by Carol J. Stapleton and Herbert Joseph Stapleton, Jr. The country star and his two siblings grew up listening to and gaining a strong appreciation for country music, which eventually led him to find his true passion in life.

After graduating high school as class valedictorian, Stapleton moved to Nashville to study engineering at Vanderbilt University. However, after one year of being immersed in the culture of music city, he dropped out of school to pursue music full-time.

Chris Stapleton; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Chris Stapleton; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Shortly after settling into the town full of budding artists, Stapleton inked his first publishing deal with Sea Gayle Music. In addition to spending his time in the studio penning tracks for other artists, Stapleton also served as the lead vocalist for two bands – the three-time GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass band, The SteelDrivers, and a rock band, The Jompson Brothers. He strengthened his craft in performing and songwriting with The SteelDrivers for two years before stepping out into the limelight on his own.

Stapleton then released his debut album, Traveller, in 2015 via Mercury Nashville. This project eventually went platinum and earned Stapleton a win for Album of the Year (as artist and producer), Male Vocalist of the Year, and New Artist of the Year at the 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards. From this record, the track, “Nobody to Blame,” became Stapleton’s first country radio hit. In between accepting his wins at the CMA Awards show in 2015, the country star got the chance to share the award show stage with pop sensation, Justin Timberlake, when they performed a cover of George Jones’ “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s “Drink You Away.”

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The next year, Stapleton earned four GRAMMY nominations, which resulted in two awards for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Album. He went on to make history with the number of accolades he received throughout his career. To date, Stapleton has racked up 20 CMA Awards, eight GRAMMY wins and 14 ACM wins.

During the 56th annual CMA Awards, the Kentucky native earned his sixth win for Male Vocalist of the Year, setting the record for the most wins in this category. In 2022, he scored his third No. 1 hit with his country song, “You Should Probably Leave,” which appeared on his fourth studio album, Starting Over. Stapleton’s other top-charting songs include “Broken Halos” and “Starting Over.”

Chris Stapleton; Photo by John Russell/CMA
Chris Stapleton; Photo by John Russell/CMA

Over the course of his successful career, Stapleton has stepped outside of the country music realm to collaborate with a variety of artists such as Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Rage Against the Machine, Adele, and Tom Morello. In addition, he has contributed to the soundtracks of several movies, including Cars 2 and Valentine’s Day, and the hit TV series, Yellowstone.

Stapleton will return to the road in 2023 for a series of stadium shows with George Strait and special guests Little Big Town. Before he embarks on this tour, he is slated to sing the National Anthem ahead of Super Bowl LVII.

Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton; Photo Courtesy ABC
Chris Stapleton, Morgane Stapleton; Photo Courtesy ABC

Chris Stapleton Personal Life

Outside of his music career, Chris Stapleton dedicates his time to his wife, Morgane Stapleton. The couple met in 2003 while working as songwriters in buildings right beside each other. One night, they decided to sit down and write a song together, which they now claim to be their first date. From this moment on, their love continued to flourish.

They tied the knot on October 27, 2007 and are now parents to five children. Stapleton and his wife generally keep their family out of the public eye, but from time to time, fans have been able to catch a glimpse of his kids on Instagram. In support of her husband’s career, Morgane has also been known to join him on stage to sing background, harmony and duet vocals in his band.

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Most-Listened To Chris Stapleton Songs On Spotify (As Of Jan. 2023)

“Tennessee Whiskey” – 628,979,055

“Broken Halos” – 225, 682, 528

“Parachute” – 214,573,421

“Starting Over” – 172,714,794

“You Should Probably Leave” – 160,960,657

Most-Viewed Chris Stapleton Videos On YouTube (As Of Jan. 2023)

“Tennessee Whiskey” – 666M

“Fire Away” – 126M

“Broken Halos” – 91M

“Millionaire” – 80M

“Starting Over” – 78M

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.