Chris Stapleton had quite a few special moments at this year’s CMA Awards, and a couple of them were offstage. First, his video for “Fire Away” was named Music Video of the Year earlier in the day.
The clip was directed by Tim Mattia and starred actors Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Inferno) and Margarita Levieva (Revenge, The Blacklist). The video concept, which Chris envisioned, centered on mental health issues and helped raise awareness for the Campaign to Change Direction.
He also took home the CMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year for the second consecutive year. “What a wonderful night, I’ve gotten to be a fan tonight,” he said while accepting the award, saying that many of the legends in the crowd created “music I’ve grown up on…It means so much to get to be a part of country music, these are the best people in the world.”
One of his favorite moments of the night was performing “Seven Spanish Angels” with Dwight Yoakam. The song was originally recorded by Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. Before stepping onstage, Chris took a moment to thank Dwight.
“I looked at Dwight before walking onstage tonight, and he and I have gotten to know each other a little bit,” Chris told the press backstage. “We wrote a song a couple weeks ago and really hit it off. But I looked at him when we walked onstage tonight, and I try my best not to be a fan and freak people out, but I looked at Dwight and I said, ‘Man, I just want you to know you’re a hero, and I really appreciate you doing this.’ It got me, to get to do that.”
Chris is currently sitting inside the Top 20 on the country charts with “Parachute” from his album, Traveller, which has been nominated for Favorite Country Album at the 2016 AMAs. The American Music Awards will air Sunday, November 20th at 8pm ET on ABC, Live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
Chris Stapleton (Fire Away CMA video) OC: …the video. 1:03
“The label kept asking me if I was going to do a video for the record, and they kept asking what I wanted to do. We were in this meeting hall at the label, and I said, ‘Here’s what I want to do. Here’s the idea,’ and I got dead silence out of it, and they thought I was a crazy man for a minute. Then they went back and thought about it and everybody got on board with it and we found Tim who was a remarkable director to direct, and I had this crazy idea to get Ben Foster in the video and I didn’t know him at all [laughs] at the time, and he was kind enough to do it. He brought in the actual reason for doing it, which was to raise the awareness. I had the idea for a storyline, and then everything happened very organically with that video and he brought Margarita in to play the female role in that video. It became something hopefully that has value beyond just being a video for the sake of doing a video. That’s what I liked about the video.”
Chris Stapleton (Dwight & heroes) OC: …reality. :39
“I looked at Dwight before walking onstage tonight, and he and I have gotten to know each other a little bit. We wrote a song a couple weeks ago and really hit it off. But I looked at him when we were walked onstage tonight, and I try my best not to be a fan and freak people out, but I looked at Dwight and I said, ‘Man, I just want you to know you’re a hero, and I really appreciate you doing this.’ It got me, to get to do that. What a remarkable thing. It’s an alternate reality. My buddy J.T. Cure, the bass player in the band, we step off the bus sometimes, and we’re looking around at what we’re doing, and we just start laughing, because it really feels like an alternate reality.”