Chris Stapleton Reflects On His Father’s Influence On His Work Ethic Amid His Pursuit Of Work-Life Balance

“I think about him every day,” says Stapleton.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 22, 2024

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Chris Stapleton; Photo by Andy Barron

When it comes to his job, Chris Stapleton is a force to be reckoned with. He sweeps award shows, is constantly churning out hits for himself and others, and never lets people question his devotion to his work. The country star recently told Cowboys & Indians Magazine that he while owes his disciplined work ethic to his late father, he’s determined to find more of a balance in his life.  

Stapleton was born in Lexington, KY to his parents, Carol Stapleton, a local health department worker, and Herbert Stapleton Jr., a coal miner, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 67. Herbert was responsible for introducing Stapleton to the outlaws of country music, from Waylon Jennings to Willie Nelson and even some R&B singers. He wasn’t a singer himself, but the pair were able to find common ground in their drive to make their jobs a priority. 

Inheriting Work Ethic From His Father

 “My work ethic comes from my dad, and I’m not sure that it’s altogether healthy. I’m working on some work-life balance,” he admits. “My dad was a coal miner. He worked long hours his whole life, and he died very young. I’m trying not to do that. That may be who I am in a lot of ways, and I think about him every day.”

Chris Stapleton; Photo by Becky Fluke
Chris Stapleton; Photo by Becky Fluke

As the middle child, the “Tennessee Whiskey” singer also grew up watching his siblings take their own paths in life, and has unintentionally learned a few things from them along the way as well. 

“Sometimes you’re so close to whatever there is around you, you don’t even know what you’re learning from it. I have an older brother and a younger sister who both do great work in the world,” Stapleton continued. “They’re so giving of themselves, and I admire that about them.”

Reveals The Advice He Hopes To Pass On To His Children

Now he is a father of his own to five children, whom he raises with his wife and business partner, Morgane Stapleton. As he continues to gain life lessons through both the people of his past and present, Stapleton hopes to pass down a bit of his wisdom to his family, and that starts with ingraining the importance of authenticity. 

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

“The thing we try to impart on them is that it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to make mistakes, and owning those mistakes is important,” he said. “Here’s what I hope for my children: that they are the best parts of me and that they can overcome the worst parts of me. I want my children to be themselves, whoever they are. I want that for them more than I want it for me.”

New Album, Higher, Out Now

The couple is rarely seen apart, as most aspects of their lives overlap. They most recently worked together on producing Stapleton’s latest album, Higher, alongside Dave Cobbs. The project dropped November 10, 2023 with a collection of 14 tracks that were either written solely by Stapleton or penned co-writes with some of Nashville’s finest. 

More than ever before, this project finds the seven-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year crooning over his love and appreciation for his wife through songs like “The Day I Die,” “Think I’m In Love With You,” “It Takes A Woman” and more. 

Chris Stapleton - Higher
Chris Stapleton – Higher

The project also highlights the single, “White Horse,” the highest charting debut for the country superstar at Mediabase with an entry at No. 31, the title track, which Stapleton penned back in 2001 and his co-write with Miranda Lambert, “What Am I Gonna Do.”

The vulnerability and sincere stories found within Higher follows 2020’s acclaimed Starting Over, which went on to win three awards at the 67th Annual GRAMMYs as well as Album of the Year at both the CMA and ACM Awards.

Upcoming Tour

Chris Stapleton has a busy year ahead as he is preparing to return to the road for his extended All-American Road Show Tour. Produced by Live Nation, the highly anticipated trek will bring a slew of special musical guests to arenas and stadiums across the U.S., including San Diego’s Petco Park, Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium, Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, Cleveland’s Blossom Music Center and Philadelphia’s Freedom Mortgage Pavilion, and more. 

Additionally, in 2024, the Kentucky native has also been tapped to join George Strait on select stadium dates.

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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.