Chris Stapleton is an American country and bluegrass musician. Born Christopher Alvin Stapleton on April 15, 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky, he came from a family of coal miners. His father was a coal miner and his mother worked at the local health department. He grew up in the small town of Staffordsville and graduated from Johnson Central High School.
He attended Vanderbilt University where he studied engineering, but quit after only a year. In 2001, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a music career. As a songwriter, he signed with the publishing house Sea Gayle Music, a deal he got shortly after moving to Nashville.
He was also part of some bands including The Steeldrivers, which he left in 2010, and The Jompson Brothers, which once served as an opener for the Zac Brown Band. He started to work as a solo singer after signing to Mercury Nashville, a division of Universal Music Group Nashville, in 2013. His first single, "What Are You Listening to", was released in October 2013, but didn't perform well. The song was part of an album that was recorded but never released.
He rose to stardom following the release of his debut album "Traveller" in May 2015. Co-produced by the singer himself, the song features him on guitar and singing with a live band that includes bass player J.T. Cure (from The Jompson Brothers), pedal steel player Robby Turner, drummer Derek Mixon and Mickey Raphael who plays harmonica. Stapleton's wife Morgane Stapleton sings harmonies.
Stapleton said that the album was inspired by a road trip he took after his father died in 2013. He said he wrote the title track "Traveller" while on a road trip with his wife, driving down Interstate 40 from Phoenix, Arizona, to Nashville via New Mexico.
The album was met with positive reviews and has helped Stapleton win multiple awards including the Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year Awards at the 2015 CMAs. The record was also nominated for several Grammys at the 2016 ceremony, including the coveted Album of the Year which eventually went to Taylor Swift's "1989".