Chris Stapleton: Eight Essential Favorites

CMT Hot 20 Countdown Celebrates Hit-maker's 40th Birthday April 14-15

It’s insane to think that the booming and inimitable voice of Chris Stapleton resounded under the mainstream radar for as long as it did.

It’s hard to imagine what music would sound like today without his songs.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Before his multiple award wins and his major label debut Traveller made him a household name, Stapleton wore a myriad of hats on Music Row as a frontman for groups like Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit, The SteelDrivers, and rock band, The Jompson Brothers. He was also the writer behind some of country music’s biggest and most notable songs, having had more than seventy songs cut by other artists in a seven-year stretch of writing.

Let those numbers sink in for a second.

In honor of his big 40th birthday on Sunday (April 15), CMT Hot 20 Countdown dug up some incredible throwback footage of Stapleton talking about his journey to Nashville and some of the songs he wrote that went to other country stars.

Let’s start with “Whiskey and You,” originally recorded by Tim McGraw back in 2007 for his album, Let It Go. You forgot about that version, didn’t you?

What about “Independent Trucker” cut by Brooks & Dunn? Or Darryl Worley’s “Nothin’ But A Love Thang” from his 2006 album, Here And Now?

But it was a little song called “Your Man” recorded by Josh Turner that became Stapleton’s first No. 1 as a songwriter in 2006.

“What’s really shocking is to see Josh sometime because if you don’t know what he looks like he sounds much older,” Stapleton said of Turner at the 2006 No. 1 party for the hit. “You’d expect him to look like Trace Adkins. And it’s really cool to see such a young guy have a powerful voice.”

Then came “Never Wanted Nothing More,” a happy little uptempo recorded by Kenny Chesney that went on to become yet another smash for Stapleton as a writer. The hits kept coming with even more No. 1s for Darius Rucker (“Come Back Song”), Thomas Rhett (“Crash and Burn”) and Luke Bryan (“Drink A Beer”).

And now, seventeen years into his Nashville life, he’s scored his first No. 1 as an artist with the Grammy-winning “Broken Halos,” a feat he never expected to happen when he first arrived in town.

We’re confident it’s the first of many more No. 1s to come. Happy Birthday, Chris.

Stapleton is the lead winner heading to Sunday’s (April 15) ACM Awards. His eight nominations are in five categories including entertainer, male vocalist, album, single and song of the year.

Here are a few of our favorite Stapleton originals:

  1. “Your Man”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Josh Turner’s Your Man

    Songwriters: Stapleton, Chris Dubois, Christophe Dubois, and Jace Everett

    It’s too bad this song isn’t more smoldering, you know?

  2. “Never Wanted Nothin’ More”

    Embedded from open.spotify.com.

    Album: Kenny Chesney’s Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates

    Songwriters: Ronnie Bowman and Stapleton

    We’ve never wanted anything more than a Stapleton version of this tune.

  3. “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”

    Embedded from open.spotify.com.

    Album: George Strait’s Here For A Good Time

    Songwriters: Al Anderson and Stapleton

  4. “Come Back Song”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Darius Rucker’s Charleston, SC 1966

    Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Darius Rucker and Stapleton

    We didn’t know Rucker was in on this write!

  5. “Crash and Burn”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up

    Songwriters: Jesse Frasure and Stapleton

    Oh yeah, we caught that adorable “Say Anything” reference with the stereo, did you?

  6. “Drink A Beer”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party

    Songwriters: Jim Beavers and Stapleton

    This incredibly moving performance from Bryan features Stapleton on backup vocals.

  7. “Don’t Start Lying to Me Now”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Joss Stone’s LP1

    Songwriters: Melissa Peirce, Stapleton and Joss Stone

    Yes, you read it correctly. That’s the soul powerhouse Joss Stone you’re thinking of, and that write was a match made in R&B Heaven.

  8. “There’s More Where That Came From”

    Embedded from www.youtube.com.

    Album: Lee Ann Womack’s There’s More Where That Came From

    Songwriters: Christophe Dubois and Stapleton

    Now that’s a country music mic drop right there.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.