Chris Stapleton is officially the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year. The singer-songwriter was stunned when he took the stage to accept the honor, later reflecting on the significance of taking home the night’s highest honor.
“I’m humbled by it,” Stapleton said backstage at the ACM Awards. “And I feel very thankful to the people that voted for me for it, that think that I’m deserving of that. I’m not sure that I am, but I’ll take it. I’ll take it.”
Stapleton mentioned his five children in his acceptance speech, revealing that he planned on celebrating by heading skipping the after-show festivities, and heading back to his family.
“I’m gonna go home,” Stapleton said. “That’s how I’m gonna celebrate. I’m gonna wake up in my own bed, hopefully.”
Stapleton beat out Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert Carrie Underwood and Morgan Wallen to win the Entertainer of the Year trophy — one he was certain he would go to someone else instead.
“By any imaginable metric, I don’t deserve this, but thank you,” Stapleton said from stage. “There are so many other great people in this category. I stand up, and I play music. That’s what I try to do every night. I write songs, and I make records.”
“I never thought of myself as somebody who’d win this award,” he continued. “I’m so grateful for each and every person who works so hard to make us able to do what we do — my wife Morgane, thank you.”
The “Joy Of My Life” singer got emotional when acknowledging his children, who he keeps largely out of the public eye.
“I’m really at a loss of what to say, but I want to say, my kids sitting at home, they give up a lot of my time, a lot of my wife’s time so we can do this,” he said. “This is for them.”
Stapleton was also nominated for Male Artist of the Year, with that award going to Morgan Wallen, and Song of the Year, for “You Should Probably Leave,” with that trophy going to Cole Swindell‘s “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.” This is his first Entertainer of the Year win at the ACM Awards, and his fifth nomination in the category.
Stapleton will spend much of the next several months on the road, including opening for George Strait, for several stadium shows, including two in Nashville. Find music and tour dates at ChrisStapleton.com.
Photo Credit: Gilbert Flores for PMC