Chris Stapleton Reveals How His Daughter Changed a Major Part of His Songwriting Process

Today Chris Stapleton is a multi-award-winning singer/songwriter. When he moved to Nashville in 2001, his goal was to make a living writing songs. Later, he joined two bands—The Steeldrivers and The Jompson Brothers—before striking out on his own. Over the years, he built a philosophy around his writing. Recently, his daughter helped him change a major part of his process.

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Recently, Stapleton appeared on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen to discuss his new album, Higher. During the conversation, he revealed how his daughter changed his writing process.

[RELATED: Review: Chris Stapleton Elevates His Sound Again with ‘Higher’]

First, Stapleton revealed that he wrote “What Am I Gonna Do” with Miranda Lambert. He wanted to include it on Higher. However, he couldn’t remember the whole song. As a result, he had to call Lambert and ask her if she could remember the song or still had a copy. Luckily, she did. “That’s how it wound up on the record was she was kind enough to dig a little bit,” he said.

There’s a reason he didn’t have a copy of the song on hand. Until recently, he wouldn’t write down or record songs. Instead, he assumed that if they were good enough he would remember them. As a result, he’s lost countless songs to the ether over the years.

[RELATED: The Top 5 Moments That Shaped Chris Stapleton’s Career]

Recently, his eldest daughter, Ava has taken an interest in songwriting. She helped him change his mind about things. “I don’t subscribe to that anymore,” he revealed. “My daughter was like ‘No, no, that’s not true. If you have something that you think is cool in a moment, just put it down,” she told him. Like many modern songwriters, she suggested he use his phone to jot down lyrics or record melodies. “It’s okay to forget things and then come back to them and go, ‘Oh, that was cool’ and work on them some more,” she informed him.

[RELATED: Chris Stapleton Reveals Why It Took Him So Long to Record “Higher” and How He Found His Voice on ‘Today’]

Luckily, Stapleton didn’t subscribe to his long-held philosophy in his early days in Nashville. Otherwise, he may have lost the title track from his latest album. Earlier this month, he revealed that the song is more than twenty years old. “That song was on the first demo session I ever did when I moved to town,” he said. “I wrote that song by myself and it’s been hanging around ever since.”

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

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