NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has announced its newest exhibition highlighting the musical contributions of Chris Stapleton – Chris Stapleton: Since 1978, presented by Ram Trucks. The exhibit, which opens July 1 and runs through May 14, 2023, will chronicle the course of Stapleton’s musical career, from his Kentucky roots and success as a Nashville songwriter to his rise to stardom as one of country music’s most powerful and unique voices.
A dynamic singer, songwriter, and musician, Stapleton has collaborated with artists ranging from Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare and Carlos Santana to pop stars Justin Timberlake and P!nk. Before his breakout in 2015 with his quadruple-platinum album Traveller, he proved his musical talent for more than a decade as an in-demand songwriter in Nashville. In addition to Stapleton’s own hit recordings, more than 170 of his songs have been recorded by a diverse roster of artists, including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and Union Station, George Strait, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Lee Ann Womack and many more.
“Chris Stapleton is a powerful and emotive singer, a prolific and poetic songwriter, and a skilled and expressive guitar player,” said Kyle Young, chief executive officer for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “His rise as a successful artist may have seemed instantaneous to many, but he has been a force in country music for more than 20 years – whether writing hit songs for other country artists or contributing to studio recordings. Throughout it all, he has maintained his own unique perspective by staying true to his authentic self and artistic vision, and he continues to open the door to country music for new fans across generations and genres.”
Stapleton was born April 15, 1978, and raised in rural Johnson County, in eastern Kentucky. He began writing songs and playing guitar in his teens, teaching himself to play the instrument after taking one formal lesson. Stapleton found inspiration from fellow Kentuckians Ricky Skaggs, the Judds and Dwight Yoakam to soul singer Otis Redding, and rock artists Aerosmith.
In 1996, Stapleton moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University and study biomedical engineering. Lacking passion for his studies, he returned to Kentucky after his first year and eventually dropped out of college completely. He sold cars, drove an ice truck, and worked at a pizzeria while writing songs and playing in bars.
Stapleton catapulted to stardom after a rousing performance with pop star Justin Timberlake at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards. He also took home all three CMA awards for which he was nominated that year: Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Following the show, Traveller rose to #1 on both the country album chart and the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart.
Items featured in Chris Stapleton: Since 1978 include clothing, guitars, awards and other personal artifacts from Stapleton. Some artifact highlights include:
Stapleton’s 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard electric guitar, used during the recording of his song “Traveller.”
Stapleton’s first guitar amplifier, a 1960s Gibson GA-8 Discoverer, which he used extensively, including at performances in the early 2000s.
The Pendleton flannel jacket, Dee Cee denim western shirt and Manuel leather vest worn by Stapleton on the album cover of Traveller.
Waffle House Golden Waffle award, or “Tunie,” which recognizes Stapleton as the most-played artist on the restaurant chain’s jukeboxes in 2019.
A LEGO model of Stapleton and his band onstage, elements of which were animated for the LEGO-themed music video for “Second One to Know” (2019).