Chris Stapleton Scores Fourth Career No. 1 With ‘White Horse’

The standout track appears on the superstar’s newest album, “Higher.”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 29, 2024


1:09 pm

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Chris Stapleton; Photo by Acacia Evans, CMA

Chris Stapleton has scored his fourth No. 1 hit with “White Horse,” a song that is featured as the lead single on his latest album, Higher.

The reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year co-wrote the electrifying tune with Dan Wilson nearly 12 years ago. At the time, the pair of songwriters were asked to pen a song to potentially be used in the soundtrack of in the 2013 Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. “White Horse” did not make it into the movie, but it did find its home on Stapleton’s full-length project as well as on country radio.

The single made a historic impact on airwaves as it received 135 adds, marking the biggest add day of 2023 of country radio. It also achieved the biggest add day of the last 12 months at country radio, the biggest add day of Stapleton’s career, and the biggest add day for Mercury Records since 1997. Additionally, it was named the highest chart debut for the country superstar at Mediabase with an entry at No. 31.

Re-Live His Standout CMA Awards Performance

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The Story Behind “White Horse”

“’White Horse’ was a song that I wrote with my friend, Dan Wilson,” Stapleton told his label, Universal Music Group Nashville as he discussed the creative process behind the song. “We were out in Los Angeles, it was about I think probably late 2012, early 2013, and there was a movie called the Lone Ranger that was coming out, and I walked in the room to write with Dan at his house, and he said, ‘Hey they’re looking for songs for this Lone Ranger movie.’ I said, ‘Cool. Let’s write something.”

He went on to explain that the pair of them had little to no knowledge about the movie. So Stapleton’s solution was to write a song that they felt would align with the film, just based off the title 

“We got to talking about how it would be cool to have a kind of rock-driven-western-themed song, and that’s kind of where the song came from and we kind of built it around a guitar riff, really,” he added. 

The final product was everything they had set out to create. It has the edge of a rock song with electric guitar riffs, and Stapleton’s soulful voice while simultaneously creating that dusty western sound using banjo plucks and a storyline centered around the kind of love that feels like a fairytale with a cowboy riding off into the sunset on a white horse. 

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

The Second Single From The Album To Impact Country Radio Has Been Revealed

Stapleton’s latest album was produced alongside Dave Cobbs and dropped on November 10, 2023. The collection features 14 tracks that were each written either solely by Stapleton or as co-writes with some of Nashville’s finest. 

Love is a notable theme on Higher, as Stapleton proudly built the project around the affection he feels for his wife, Morgane Stapleton. This is evident through songs like “Think I’m In Love With You,” “Loving You On My Mind,” “The Day I Die” and more. 

According to US Radio Updater, the Kentucky native is already set to take over airwaves once again as “Think I’m In Love With You” “has officially been serviced to US Country Radio as the 2nd official single from Higher.” 

This song fits perfectly into the overarching display of how powerful matters of the heart can be. Per Stapleton’s flawless delivery, the character at hand appears to be struggling with the regret he feels over letting his ex go because now that she’s gone, he realizes just how strongly he feels for her.

“I think I’m in love with you/ I didn’t know it at the time/ I know what I want to do/ It’s making me lose my mind/ I thought about thinking it through/ And every time I do I find/ I wanna make your dreams come true/ I think I’m in love with you,” he sings on the chorus. 

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Stapleton Is A Three-Time Grammy Nominee In 2024

Chris Stapleton is going into this year’s GRAMMY Awards with three nominations in the categories of Best Country Song (“White Horse”), Best Country Solo Performance, and Best Country Duo/Group Performance as a featured performer on Carly Pearce’s “We Don’t Fight Anymore.”

Fans can tune into the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards as it broadcasts live from in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 4th beginning at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT.

Then beginning March 2, the country star will embark on 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.

He recently announced that more dates have been added in Ridgedale, MO (June 13), Houston, TX (Aug. 24), Tampa, FL (May 10), and Arlington, TX (June 15).

Additionally, Stapleton will once again join George Strait on select stadium dates throughout 2024. 

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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.