ACM Names Chris Stapleton Artist-Songwriter Of The Decade

Pictured (L-R): Clay Hunt, Red Light Management; Kelly Rich, ACM Special Awards Committee Co-Chair; Chris Stapleton; Zach Peters, Red Light Management; Chuck Aly, ACM Vice President and Special Awards Committee Co-Chair. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music

The Academy of Country Music has named Chris Stapleton as the recipient of its newly-minted ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade. He was awarded the honor in a surprise presentation recently at the Berry Hill Studios in Nashville.

The award honors an artist who has commercially released material, written in whole or in part, by the artist. This honor also recognizes a songwriter whose creative works and performance have impacted country music over the decade and takes into consideration factors including success at radio, commercial media, sales and streaming, artistic merit and ACM Award recognition.

Since moving to Nashville in 2001, Kentucky native Stapleton has written more than 170 album cuts, with seven No. 1 hits, including 2017’s “Broken Halos.” Following the release of his quadruple-Platinum debut album Traveller in 2015, Stapleton issued two more chart-topping albums in 2017, including From A Room: Volume 1 (Platinum) and From A Room: Volume 2 (Gold). Most recently, he recorded the Randy Newman-penned track “Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” for the Toy Story 4 soundtrack, and has collaborated on songs with P!nk, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Sheryl Crow.

Stapleton received his first-ever ACM Award nomination in 2014, and in 2015 took home six wins during the 51st ACM Awards. In 2017, Stapleton received three ACM Awards, including Album of the Year. ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award marks a total of 10 ACM Awards for Stapleton.

“Had Chris Stapleton not been an artist, his impact on country music as a songwriter would be indelible,” says Kelly Rich, ACM Special Awards Committee Co-Chair. “Had he not been a songwriter for himself and others, his influence as a recording artist, performer and vocalist would have been just as undeniable. In combination, however, Chris epitomizes the spirit and intent of this award. We are thrilled to recognize both aspects of his contribution to country music over the last decade.”

Stapleton is the third announced recipient of the seven all-new ACM Decade Award categories, which include ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award recipient Rhett Akins and ACM Song of the Decade Award recipients Miranda Lambert, and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, for “The House That Built Me.”  Additional winners will be revealed in the coming weeks.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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