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Chris Stapleton Talks Honoring Tom Petty, Collaborating With Justin Timberlake
Two years ago at the 58th GRAMMY Awards, Chris Stapleton won his first two GRAMMYs: Best Country Album for Traveller and Best Country Solo Performance for the album's title track. On Jan. 28 in New York's Madison Square Garden he won both of those categories again at the 60th GRAMMY Awards and added another — From A Room: Volume 1 won Best Country Album, the track "Either Way" took Best Country Solo Performance, and "Broken Halos" won for Best Country Song.
While winning three GRAMMYs is a great honor, Stapleton had the weightier task of introducing the In Memoriam segment saluting musicians who passed away in the last year. Stapleton performed Tom Petty's "Wildflowers," the opening track from Petty's 1994 album of the same name, playing guitar with Americana icon Emmylou Harris.
"Wildflowers is my favorite album of all time, sonically and song-wise," said Stapleton. "I kind of judge all other things by that." Asked whether his doing the backstage interview without a hat meant he was starting to have an easier time "in the public eye," Stapleton laughed and denied it. The hat had come off for Tom Petty and he kept it off. "It was a really hard thing for me to do tonight," he confessed.
Stapleton recently had another noteworthy collaboration on the Man Of The Woods album by Justin Timberlake, about to be released on Feb. 2. Their single together "Say Something" posted to YouTube on Jan. 25 and has already broken 16 million views. "He is a great creative force," Stapleton complimented Timberlake.
Stapleton's dream list for future collaboration sounds like the GRAMMY stage could be the appropriate venue to make some of his other dreams come alive. Paul McCartney was Stapleton's first thought, followed closely by Elton John and Aretha Franklin. He's aiming high, but he has five GRAMMY Awards to his name and he's still getting started. That's the same number John has, although John also was recognized with the GRAMMY Legend Award, as was Franklin. Both Franklin and McCartney are recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and have won 18 GRAMMY Awards each. You'd think a lot of people have a bucket list like that. This "Traveller" country singer/songwriter is off to a strong start, bringing dreams to life, so we can add these new dreams to a list that is worth singing about.