The 30 Best Chris Stapleton Quotes

Chris Stapleton boasts the platonic ideal of a country voice. If there are angels that sing country music, they sound like Stapleton.

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The country star, born April 15, 1978, is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. In 2001, he moved to Nashville to get an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. He soon dropped out, though, to pursue music. Thankfully for him, that choice seemed to work out.

[RELATED: 6 Songs You Didn’t Know Chris Stapleton Wrote For Other Artists]

To date, he’s written hundreds of songs, including a handful of No. 1 hits. He’s written for Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, and more. Stapleton released his solo debut LP, Traveller, in 2015, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. And his rendition of the classic “Tennessee Whiskey” has since been certified diamond.

But what does the singer, songwriter, and performer have to say outside of his music about life and love, his craft, and the world at large? Here are the 30 best Chris Stapleton quotes.

1. “The goal is always just to write the best song that you can write. I mean, the process for writing a song is the process for writing a song. It’s not something I look at it as something I need to do something different.”

2. “I went to college a little bit, and that didn’t work out, and I didn’t finish. So, I would play in bars until I ran out of money, and then I’d get a real job.”

3. “I just try to make the best music that I can. People are going to label it whatever they’re going to label it.”

4. “You always hope for the best when you put something out and try to make the best music you can make, but you can’t control what happens after that.”

5. “When you’re writing with an artist or for an artist, you have to help them serve their vision. That’s the cool part about writing songs. There are no rules.”

6. “If you think about what everyone else will think, you forget to just make music.”

7. “I’m always just looking to get back to the joy of playing music, and keeping it simple, as much as I can.”

8. “My earliest memories of music are probably my dad listening to a bunch of outlaw country, but also old R&B and Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin. But, you know, I had rock phases and liked more modern R&B acts. I’ve always listened to all kinds of music, and I like all kinds of music.”

9. “I don’t look at family and what I do for a living as separate things. They’re all kind of one thing, and this is part of their life just like it’s part of mine.”

10. “I like songs that make me feel tough. Like ‘Back in Black.’ You want to hear it again and get in a fight.”

11. “I’m a fan of polarization. If you make something that is palatable to everybody, it’s like making vanilla ice cream, and I think we have enough of that.”

12. “Country music is one of those places where we support each other and prop each other up.”

13. “I like the old days when, if I wrote a song and I recorded it, it didn’t mean somebody else couldn’t record it.”

14. “I didn’t have any expectations with Traveller—I don’t think anybody did. That’s how I prefer the process to be.”

15. “I think, at some point, all of us—I’m gonna speak personally, not for everybody else—you’re gonna feel like a one-trick pony, and you might even be a one-trick pony. But at some point, if it’s a really good trick, everybody’s still gonna appreciate it.”

16. “Great musicians are great musicians, whether they’re playing a trombone or an electric guitar or a xylophone.”

17. “I grew up in eastern Kentucky, and we would sing in the churches, and there’s lots of good mountain church singers out there. Like a lot of folks who turn out to be secular music artists, that’s a lot of the training you put in, whether you know it or not.”

18. “We have a history in country music of writing about the darker side of things—maybe not as much in modern times, but there’s a lot of cheating and self-deprecation. We sort it out in song, in country music, as a genre.”

19. “I never was a liner note junkie. I didn’t know who produced records or there was such a thing as a straight songwriter. I always assumed that everybody that was singing a song wrote it or made it up.”

20. “I like things that don’t sound particularly processed or mechanical or made by machines. I like music that contains human elements, with all their flaws. There’s air in it, and you can hear a room of a bunch of guys playing. Those are the magic parts.”

21. “Anyone who says it’s so easy to write a country hit and that it’s just a formula—well, try it sometime. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it.”

22. “I grew up less than a mile from folks that lived in shacks with dirt floors. I certainly know that there are needs in this country. Not too far from your house, if you look around, people need to be helped.”

23. “I’ve always believed you should sing songs you can really put yourself into. I think the emotion you put into it is just as important as singing the notes.”

24. “I was writing waltzes at a time when the most popular thing was Shania Twain and the very pop edge of country. I didn’t really know how to do much of that.”

25. “I didn’t know they would pay you money to sit in a room and write songs for other people. I always thought that George Strait was singing a song, he made it up, and that was the end of it. But the instant I found that out, that that could be a job, I thought, ‘That’s the job for me. I gotta figure out how to do that.'”

26. “I think the path is different for everybody. Go after the doors that are open to you. That has always been my motto getting into the music business. Do the things that seem to be good opportunities and work hard at it. Try to make good decisions and be nice. Hopefully, all of that will pay off at some point.”

27. “We have that storytelling history in country and bluegrass and old-time and folk music, blues—all those things that combine to make up the genre. It was probably storytelling before it was songwriting, as far as country music is concerned. It’s fun to be a part of that and tip the hat to that. You know, and keep that tradition alive.”

28. “I always feel that if you’re going to cover a song, you should make it your own and flip it on its head.”

29. “I can only be me. I have a hard time being a chameleon as a singer.”

30. “At the end of the day, I just have to do what I do and let it be what it’s gonna be.”

Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

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