Chris Stapleton on 2016 CMA Awards: ‘The Whole Show Was My Favorite Part’
Chris Stapleton took home two trophies at the 2016 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (Nov. 2), for Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Although he was nominated for a total of six awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Stapleton says that he's happy whether it's himself or someone else winning.
"We’re all friends, and it’s not like some kind of competition necessarily, musically," Stapleton told The Boot and other reporters backstage. "[It's not] like we’re try to squash out something or we’re in some feud. People try to make it out to be that, and it’s just not."
Stapleton, who performed "Seven Spanish Angels" with Dwight Yoakam during the CMAs' broadcast, says that getting the chance to sing with so many other artists, across all genres, over the past year -- including singing with James Taylor earlier this year -- is the best affirmation of his artistry that he could receive.
"I looked at Dwight before we walked onstage tonight," Stapleton recalled. "We got to know each other a little bit, and we wrote a song a couple weeks ago and really hit it off. I looked at him when we were walking onstage tonight, and I try my best not to be a fan and freak people out, but I looked at Dwight, and I said, ‘Man, I just want you to know you’re a hero, and I really appreciate you doing this.’
"It got me to get to do that," he continued. "What a remarkable thing. It’s an alternate reality."
As one of the reigning hitmakers in country music, Stapleton says that adding pop star Beyonce, who performed with the Dixie Chicks, to the star-studded show, was important to the CMAs' live broadcast.
"She’s everything you want her to be," he says. "She’s a classy, classy lady, and I’m proud that she could take the time to come show up."
Queen Bey was one of numerous big performances of the night, including the celebrity-filled opening medley, which made the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards one of the best nights of Stapleton's life.
"There were so many just legends, and music," says Stapleton. "I was sitting there singing, like I was a kid, along to the music ... I got a little overwhelmed in the beginning. I don’t know if anybody else here felt that, the gravity of what we get to be a part of. Being a part of country music and the CMAs, it’s a really -- it feels heavy, but in a good way; it’s very moving. The whole night was moving that way, and different moments of that, and joy and tears. The whole show was my favorite part."
Top 10 2016 CMA Awards Moments
Unforgettable CMA Awards Controversies