Chris Stapleton is getting his own exhibit at the The Country Music Hall of Fame. Presented by Ram Trucks, Chris Stapleton: Since 1978, which opens July 1 and runs through May 14, 2023, covers the course of the country artist’s career, from growing up in Kentucky to his success as a songwriter and singer in Nashville.
Items featured in the Chris Stapleton exhibit consist of clothing, guitars, awards, and other personal artifacts that belong to the artist, including his 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard electric guitar, used during the recording of the song “Traveller,” his first guitar amplifier, a 1960s Gibson GA-8 Discoverer, which he used extensively, the Pendleton flannel jacket, a Dee Cee denim western shirt, a Manuel leather vest worn by Stapleton on the album cover of Traveller, and more.
Throughout his career, Stapleton had collaborated with Country Music Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare, Carlos Santana, Justin Timberlake, P!nk, and more before his 2015 debut Traveller, which was inspired by an 11-day road trip he took following the death of his father. In addition to Stapleton’s own recordings, more than 170 more of his songs have also been recorded by artists including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and Union Station, George Strait, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Lee Ann Womack and more.
Born April 15, 1978, and raised in Johnson County, Kentucky, Stapleton began writing songs and playing guitar in his teens, teaching himself how to play after taking one formal lesson. Inspired by everyone from Otis Redding, Aerosmith, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Dwight Yoakam, Stapleton moved to Nashville after graduating high school in 1996 to study biomedical engineering. Soon after dropping out of the program, Stapleton returned home and worked odd jobs while he played in bars and wrote songs.
After working with Steve Leslie, Stapleton decided to pursue songwriting and moved back to Nashville in 2001 and signed with Sea Gayle Music, writing “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey” for Gary Allan and Patty Loveless’ ”Higher Than the Wall” in 2003 before earning his first No. 1 with Josh Turner’s “Your Man” in 2006. In addition and his own recordings, Stapleton has also earned multiple No. 1 hits with Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” in 2007; Darius Rucker’s 2010 single “Come Back Song; Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” in 2014; and “Crash and Burn” by Thomas Rhett in 2015.
To date, Stapleton has won eight Grammys, nine Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association awards and continues to work along with his band the Honchos and his wife and collaborator Morgane.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
Young added, “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.”
Tickets are on sale now at CountryMusicHallofFame.org.
Photo: Universal Music Group