Universal Music Group Nashville recording artist and three-time GRAMMY nominee Chris Stapleton is an established songwriter with five No. one hits already under his belt including the five-week No. one “Never Wanted Nothing More” recorded by Kenny Chesney, “Love’s Gonna Make it Alright” recorded by George Strait, and “Drink A Beer” recorded by Luke Bryan. As a writer for Sea Gayle Music Publishing, Stapleton has penned over 170 album cuts, including songs recorded by Adele, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley, and has such notable co-writers as Vince Gill, Peter Frampton and Sheryl Crow among others. Additionally, Stapleton has shared the stage with such respected artists as Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Marty Stuart, Emmy Lou Harris and more.
As lead vocalist for critically acclaimed bluegrass band The SteelDrivers, Stapleton earned three GRAMMY nominations including Best Bluegrass Album, as well as an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for Emerging Artist of the Year. He’s won six ASCAP Awards and has contributed to the soundtracks of several feature films including “Cars 2” and “Valentine’s Day.”
Stapleton is currently working on his first solo studio album for Universal Music Group Nashville.
Many of your favorite country stars will be featured on ABC’s three-hour special, CMA Fest on Wednesday (August 8th). The concert special was taped during this year’s CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville in June. For fans who weren’t able to attend, or if you want to revisit the amazing time you had, you can watch Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton, among others, perform on the stage at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans).
“I’ve always been the type of artist when I can perform my music for a television audience, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be in people’s households and they get to always put the face with the song,” says Luke. “I mean, this is like a big, awards-show-type crowd in August and yeah, it’s very important. You don’t want to go out there and lay an egg. You want to go put a great show on, because the fans that are in the room, they’re gonna go watch it again in August. And another thing — it’s gonna make people that may not have been to this festival, they’re gonna want to come be a part of that. So, it’s been fun watching CMA Music Fest grow to where it’s sold out every night, and that’s because we put a cool thing to watch on TV together for the fans.”
The CMA Fest special, hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini, airs Wednesday (August 8t) beginning at 8pm ET on ABC.
Luke Bryan (CMA Music Festival TV) OC: …for the fans. 1:00
“I’ve always been the type of artist when I can perform my music for a television audience, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be in people’s households and they get to always put the face with the song. I mean, that used to be a big deal in my career, in my early career, we had to make sure that the people watching at home put it together that this crazy guy was singing in the song. I mean, this is like a big, awards-show-type crowd in August and yeah, it’s very important. You don’t want to go out there and lay an egg. You want to go put a great show on, because the fans that are in the room, they’re gonna go watch it again in August. And another thing — it’s gonna make people that may not have been to this festival, they’re gonna want to come be a part of that. So it’s been fun watching CMA Music Fest grow to where it’s sold out every night, and that’s because we put a cool thing to watch on TV together for the fans.”
Keith Urban (CMA Fest TV) OC: …it’s my tribe. :15
“Well, number one, for the fans, who come from all over the world to be here, and it’s an amazing week for them. But for me personally too, I love the work that all of the CMA Board and all of the Foundation do. You know, they’ve been very good to me over the years, and it’s my tribe.”
Carrie Underwood (CMA Music Festival) OC: …when they’re here. 1:05
“CMA Music Festival is so much fun, and every year they do a TV special, which is really cool. We kind of get to give the rest of the world that didn’t get to come to the Music Fest a little taste of what it’s like and hopefully they’ll see it and want to come next year. But CMA Music Fest is so much fun. No other genre of music does what country music does for their fans like this, which is so cool. There are literally like hundreds of thousands of people that like descend on Nashville, and there’s not a hotel to be found. Everywhere you go there’s people looking for music and looking to see artists and fan club parties and charity events and the CMT Music Awards are that week. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s kind of a way to get to interact and give back and meet the people that have been coming to see you on tour and get to say thank you. It’s just a blast. I came as a kid growing up a couple of times, and it’s cool to be on that side of things and now to be on this side of things, but I think everybody just has a lot of fun when they’re here.”
Chris Stapleton joins the lineup of performers for this year’s ACM Honors, hosted by Jon Pardi and Lauren Alaina, taking place at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium August 22nd. Kip Moore has been added as a presenter, along with Ricky Skaggs and radio personality Bobby Bones.
Chris joins previously announced performers including Lauren, Kassi Ashton, Cam, Deana Carter, Morgan Evans, Dustin Lynch, Ashley McBryde, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pardi and songwriters Dallas Davidson & Ben Hayslip. Jordan Davis, Lindsay Ell, Lori McKenna and Storme Warren are presenters.
As previously announced, Special Award recipients to be celebrated at the 12th Annual ACM Honors include Dierks Bentley (ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award), Matraca Berg (ACM Poet’s Award), Sam Hunt (ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award), Alan Jackson (ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award), Darius Rucker (ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award),Mickey & Chris Christensen and Eddie Miller (ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award, all awarded posthumously), Rob Potts (ACM Jim Reeves International Award, awarded posthumously), and Norro Wilson (ACM Poet’s Award, awarded posthumously). The evening will also honor winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards, along with Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Rhett Akins.
Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves have been added to the lineup for this year’s Farm Aid. The 33rd annual event will also feature performances by the Farm AID board of directors Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews as well as Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price. Tickets for this year’s event, taking place September 22nd at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, go on sale Friday (June 29th) at 10am ET.
Keith Urban performs on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night (June 26th). Shaquille O’Neal and Jenna Dewan will also appear on the show, which airs at 11:35a ET.
Luke Bryan will reunite with his American Idol co-star on ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan on Wednesday (June 27th). Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer, Grown Ups, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore) and Winston Duke (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War) are also scheduled guests on the show.