The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will highlight the musical contributions of Chris Stapleton in its newest exhibition, 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 multi-faceted 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.
Before his breakout success in 2015 with his quadruple-platinum album Traveller, he proved his musical mettle 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.
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, and his recording of “Tennessee Whiskey” shot to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Stapleton soon began headlining arenas and followed Traveller with two more successful albums, From A Room: Volume 1 and Volume 2, in 2017. In February 2018, Traveller and both volumes of From A Room occupied the first three slots on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, a feat previously only accomplished by Country Music Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks and Charlie Rich. Stapleton continued this momentum with his 2020 album Starting Over, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s country album chart and earned two more Billboard #1 singles, “Starting Over” (2021) and “You Should Probably Leave” (2022).
Stapleton remains a top-selling recording artist and touring act with his band, the Honchos, and has accumulated armloads of awards, including 9 Academy of Country Music awards, 14 Country Music Association awards and 8 Grammys. His wife, Morgane, an accomplished singer and songwriter herself, is a key member of his band and plays a large role in Stapleton’s career, including helping select songs for his albums.
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).