UPDATED: After CMA Wins, Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” Sales Spike 6,400%, Goes #1 All Genre
This story has been updated.
There’s a awards show bump, and then there’s Chris Stapleton’s awards show bump. After shocking the country music world by walking away with wins for New Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year at the 49th Annual CMA Awards, sales for his debut release Traveller have positively exploded to unprecedented levels, especially considering the general malaise album sales are in across music.
HITS Daily Double estimated that after Stapleton’s wins and a high-profile performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA’s, the songwriter turned performer sold an estimated 150,000 new copies of Traveller. That’s good enough to take the #1 all genre spot on the Billboard 200. It bested his nearest competition, Eric Church and his surprise album Mr. Misunderstood, by roughly 74,000 albums. Stapleton will also get credit for an additional 26,000 albums in streaming equivalent plays from folks who listened in on Spotify and other places, for a grand total of 176,000 estimated albums.
***UPDATE: According to Billboard‘s official numbers, Stapleton took #1 with 177,000 equivalent album units earned, and sold 153,000 pure album units. That would put him up a ridiculous 6,412% from 2,000 units the previous week.
All of these numbers are virtually unheard of, and fueled by the fact that Stapleton was a virtual unknown heading into the CMA presentation. Traveller sold 27,000 copies upon its debut on May 5th, 2015, and had only sold a total of 93,900 copies as of late October heading into the CMA Awards. That means Traveller sold nearly 56,000 more copies in the two days following his CMA wins than the record sold total since May.
Along with the dramatic album sales, the song “Tennessee Whiskey,” written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove, and originally recorded by David Allan Coe, along with the title track “Traveller,” stayed steady in the Top 5 on the iTunes chart well after the wins, and “Tennessee Whiskey” continues to be one of the top tracks in all of music, beaten only by Adele’s smash “Hello.” (NOTE: Adele has recorded a Stapleton-penned song previously). Stapleton moved some 250,000 individual digital tracks after the CMA’s. Justin Timberlake’s “Drink You Away”—the other song the Stapleton/Timberlake pairing performed—has also held onto the #5 spot since Wednesday night.
UPDATE: Chris Stapleton’s version of “Tennessee Whiskey” sold 131,000 copies according to final numbers, good for #2 on the all-genre Digital Songs chart.
READ: On Those Chris Stapleton CMA Wins
The final tabulated numbers will be released Monday morning (11-9), however one thing is for sure: The 2015 CMA Awards did not just announce to the world who Chris Stapleton is, they launched the next major country music franchise. Despite radio completely neglecting Stapleton ahead of his wins, music fans liked what they heard, and have voted with their dollars in a dramatic way.
November 8, 2015 @ 7:28 pm
For what it’s worth, he also gained 170,000 + new fans on Facebook
November 8, 2015 @ 9:07 pm
those are just his cousins trying to get in touch.
November 9, 2015 @ 10:53 am
Guilty as charged _ no matter how distant we might be. Still on cloud 9.
November 9, 2015 @ 4:06 pm
not gonna lie, i was squealing like one of timberlake’s fans when they kept calling chris up on stage. and i would have been much louder, but i didn’t want to startle my old pup.
November 8, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Wow. Just wow.
Of course, a big part of the reason is that pop fans just do not buy albums anymore. Still, taking the #1 position among country albums by such a huge margin is no small feat.
I don’t know if I have ever seen such a sudden rise for an artist, from being completely unknown to reaching the peak in less than a year.
November 8, 2015 @ 7:36 pm
Adele is projected to sell 1.5-2 million copies of ’25’ in a couple weeks so to say that pop fans don’t buy albums anymore isn’t entirely correct it’s more that it takes a special artist to get people to buy albums.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
Adele and Taylor Swift seem to be the lone exceptions.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:03 pm
Also, Adele is not “pop” in the modern sense. Her songs do not generally exhibit the rap/EDM-based rhythm that constitutes the foundation of contemporary pop, and they instead lean more toward a “soul” style.
As such, her fan base is probably quite a bit older than the general pop audience, and therefore more likely to buy albums.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:20 pm
‘Pop’ is an ever changing thing so to say that someone is or isn’t because of what has been popular recently is ridiculous.
Plus, Adele had numerous #1’s at Mainstream Top 40 radio off her last album and ‘Hello’ is almost certainly destined to make it another one so I would say that would qualify her as a ‘pop’ artist.
But, yes she probably does skew older than Taylor Swift but it’s not all forty, fifty, sixty year olds buying all those downloads and albums.
November 8, 2015 @ 11:02 pm
Adele is one of the few musicians who actually has universal appeal across age groups. There is a very large number of younger listeners who identify with her because of her lyrics — in her first two albums, she wrote about many of the same things Taylor Swift does, and there are a lot of TS fans who also like Adele. She appeals to older listeners who prefer retro / vintage sound (and a damn good set of pipes).
November 9, 2015 @ 11:18 am
She really does. Seems like everyone I know likes her, no matter what age or what kind of music they normally listen to.
November 8, 2015 @ 7:39 pm
As you say he probably is benefitting from being so relatively unknown in the mainstream that he had much, much more room for growth. There was probably no nominated performer that had more to gain than Stapleton.
November 8, 2015 @ 7:47 pm
Do y’all think radio will continue to ignore him?
November 8, 2015 @ 7:54 pm
November 8, 2015 @ 7:56 pm
I think we’ll see an incremental gain in Stapleton spins when the new numbers come out for last week, but generally, unless there is a label pushing a very specific single to country radio, the station managers have no idea how to think for themselves, read public sentiment, and follow that up by adding music to their rotations. If Stapleton impacts on radio in any major way, it will be a month from now. Getting country radio to react to anything is like trying to do a U-turn in a battleship.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:25 pm
I can’t imagine why his label wouldn’t pick a single that they think has a chance and work the hell out of it. But you are correct that without that push radio will do nothing. Country radio programmers are the most pathetic bunch right now. They play what the labels say until the labels say stop while giving zero thought to what might fit a particular market or region.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:57 pm
For what it’s worth, 98.7 The Bull here in Portland has played both “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Nobody To Blame” for the first time yesterday.
That’s an encouraging sign, though one station does not necessarily a trend make.
November 9, 2015 @ 12:35 am
I’ve heard him once or twice on my radio, but then again I heard Chris Ledoux and Johnny Paycheck on there randomly as well.
November 9, 2015 @ 3:15 am
I was happy to hear our local top 40’country station here in Boston playing the title track, Traveller, steadily all weekend long. I hope it lasts.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:35 am
I’m really curious what the single will be. I have listened to this album approximately 75 million times, and I have my favorites. I am hoping for Fire Away or Traveller. (I LOVE Might as Well Get Stoned so much, but of course that wouldn’t be the best choice. Really I love most of them. Tennessee Whiskey is actually my least favorite.)
November 8, 2015 @ 7:58 pm
I could see him with one or two top 20 singles, but I’d would be surprised if he started regularly releasing songs that go to the top of the charts. We’ve seen plenty on traditional-style albums and independent albums reach #1 without any radio success, and George Strait’s surprise CMA in 2013 boosted his next single “I Got a Car” to the top 20, but that was it.
I hope I’m wrong.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:27 pm
The big difference between Chris Stapleton and other artists who have #1 albums but no radio play is that he won 3 major awards at the CMAs, so radio might HAVE to just play his music whether they want to or not, or it will show that they can’t keep up.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:45 pm
Ive been hearing him on us99.5 in chicago since the awards
November 9, 2015 @ 6:37 am
What songs are they playing? I don’t listen to the radio much, just check in every now and then to see if they’re playing any of the few I like. I’m in WI, but get that Chicago station, and I prefer it to the Milwaukee station 106.1.
November 9, 2015 @ 9:06 am
US99.5 in Chicago is where I first-ever heard Chris Stapleton’s solo music – way back in 2013, when they spun his first single, “What Are You Listening To.” My ears perked up immediately. Shout out to DJ Trish Biondo for that. They also played Stapleton when Traveller first came out, so I’m not surprised they’re spinning him now. I’m sure other stations also spun it when they could – many of the folks in the industry love the album, the award wins are proof of that. (As for my personal pick as a next single: “When the Stars Come Out.”)
November 9, 2015 @ 9:30 am
I like When the Stars Come Out a lot (and need “runnin’ on hope and a tank of gas” printed on everything I own, lol) but I don’t feel like it’s as good of a showcase as some of the others; its such a pretty song, but it’s not the vibe I’D like to see for an early single. But I don’t know anything about predicting singles or anything like others here do.
November 9, 2015 @ 5:07 pm
I have heard him multiple times on 99.5 in Detroit, the other station here is still neglecting him but I also have caught them playing Ed Sheeran so what do they know about country. I am waiting for the Canadian stations to begin playing his stuff, they are slower to evolve because of the Canadian broadcast laws where a certain amount has to be Canadian artists.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:04 am
Do people really still listen to the radio?
what's a wacka wacka?
November 11, 2015 @ 1:16 pm
well I would if they played country music
November 8, 2015 @ 7:57 pm
I have always liked Chris Stapleton’s Traveller album since it came, but I would be lying if I said I was not spectacle of who Chris Stapleton was as a person. I will, however; say that his wins really mean a lot to country music. My point is that I find it interesting that people just seem to buy whatever is considered in and cool. They hear something on TV or a radio station and automatically add it to their playlist. They are just like sheep waiting for the next trend to follow. Hopefully starting with Chris Stapleton these people will see how awesome traditional leaning country music artists are such as Sturgill Simpson and the like, and as a result, a new trend of traditional country music will be ushered in. Its probably wishful thinking, but one can only hope.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
I agree about why some people are buying the album (not necessarily a bad thing, its more just human nature). But why be spectacle of him as a person?
November 8, 2015 @ 8:10 pm
I just mean spectacle because of some of the songs he cut for other artists such as Thomas Rhett, and Luke Bryan.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:59 pm
Ah, gotcha. I thought you meant something actually personally for a second. I don’t love that either, but without doing that over the years and earning respect/name recognition, I don’t think he wins the awards. Means to an end.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:53 pm
Do y’all both mean skeptical? Sorry to be that guy
November 8, 2015 @ 9:01 pm
Hahaha it definitely didn’t look right when I typed it.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:01 pm
Don’t be so cyclical of course they meant spectacle!
November 8, 2015 @ 9:46 pm
Haha damn auto correct I just realized it!
November 8, 2015 @ 9:56 pm
I’m in college too so I guess that shows how great our edumacation system is. The beers ive been drinking probably didn’t help either
November 8, 2015 @ 10:21 pm
There is a strong, fervent backlash brewing against Stapleton from segments of traditional and independent country fans. Some of the concerns are warranted, some are rooted in ignorance and jealousy. I hope to address this side of the story soon.
November 9, 2015 @ 10:09 am
Scotty J, I got a good hearty laugh out of that one. Thanks for the boost to my morning
November 8, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
I had to fight with a few people on that subject saying his win wasn’t deserving since they never heard of him. Well obviously the voters did and that’s all that mattered this night. Just basically told them that’s because you let a paid radio programmer or chart tell you what to listen to. Gave them seven ways to discover music in the future
November 8, 2015 @ 9:01 pm
And yet, Stapleton is already trending towards out-selling two of his four Male Vocalist of the Year nominee rivals as far as latest albums is concerned (the only exception being Aldean and Bryan, although even that can change if Stapleton garners massive Grammy attention).
It can be argued Eric Church’s latest suffered from a lack of units to shift out of the gate due to the secrecy around EMI Nashville, thus why “Mr. Misunderstood” sold notably fewer albums than “Traveller” this week. But considering the majority of the sales for “Traveller” this week came over the course of three days, I’m inclined to think Stapleton still would have surpassed Church over a full seven-day rolling chart.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:17 pm
The whole ‘surprise’ album trend seems to me to be a further sign of the loss of relevance of the album format and for someone like Church who seems to see himself as an album artist I just don’t see what is to be gained by going this route. Whatever one thinks of ‘The Outsiders’ it was set up very well and did great it’s first week and has had tremendous staying power for a release from a semi-veteran act. Will this new one reach those levels?
Not sure he is a big enough act in the grander scheme of the music industry to pull this off.
Cool Lester Smooth
November 8, 2015 @ 10:32 pm
Eh, I think the surprise release works well thematically for the album’s style.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:38 pm
Maybe, but I’m talking more about the commercial appeal of the album which is easy to dismiss but I don’t think there is any doubt that this album would have had a bigger first week if it was set up like most albums by performers of Church’s level.
I guess for me it comes down to whether he wants to be provocative or wants his music to have the best shot at widespread success.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:31 am
Well, let’s consider the other “surprise albums” and their overall content.
Beyonce’s self-titled album was chock full of sounds and swelling, slick production. U2’s “Songs of Innocence” was less produced than its two predecessors, but still considerably polished compared to their pre-“Achtung Baby” fare. And Miley Cyrus’ “Dead Petz” was definitely dialed down compared to its predecessors, but still featuring some considerable tweaks by Mike Will Made It.
Church’s new album is his least-produced since his debut. It definitely must be treated and regarded as a proper studio album and follow-up to “The Outsiders”. Yet I think Church released this consciously aware this could mean diminishing commercial returns, and he doesn’t mind overall. I view “Mr. Misunderstood” as his “F*** It, I’m doing this cuz I can!” album.
November 9, 2015 @ 9:53 am
Yes, I think we need to consider that this MIGHT have been seen by Church as an album between albums. We’ll have to see.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:23 pm
Not been talked about much, but here in the latter stages of Grammy voting, Stapleton just made a major case for himself for strong consideration, certainly in country, and who knows, maybe for an Album of the Year nomination.
November 9, 2015 @ 12:43 am
I’m actually prÃ©dicting right now that Chris Stapleton WILL garner an “Album of the Year” nomination, in addition to “Best New Artist” and multiple country/bluegrass category nods.
I think Stapleton’s rivals in the Album Of The Year category will be Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”, Dr. Dre’s “Compton” and Hozier’s self-titled debut. As for the fifth slot, my gut is it will go to The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind The Madness”, although I can see Twenty One Pilots’ “Blurryface” denying it a slot due to critical acclaim.
I’ll boldly predict Kendrick Lamar will win big at long last. Frankly, I think he beyond deserves it. But I wouldn’t rule out a situation where Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre split the critically-acclaimed rapper vote and Chris Stapleton benefits by default. At that point, it would be a Chris Stapleton-Hozier showdown more than likely (I’m ASSUMING Hozier will be eligible, seeing only his hit “Take Me To Church” was nominated last year while the album landed September 19th, but if I’m wrong, replace him with Twenty One Pilots as his chief rival)
November 9, 2015 @ 12:49 am
If she doesn’t even get a nom, she’ll be devastated. We already know from a recent interview when she lost for “Red,” she ditched the parties, went to “In & Out” burger and pigged out.
Watch Stapleton get a nomination, the frontrunners split the votes again like they did last year when Beck won, and Stapleton walks way with it. Man bites dog. I’m done betting against the man in anything.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:10 am
You know, the more I thought about it just now, the more I realize Kendrick Lamar may wind up getting royally screwed (again), for this reason.
Dr. Dre has speculated that “Compton” is his final album. Coupled with a hit Hollywood blockbuster, a large part of the Grammy committee may be inclined to think his album has been more culturally influential and impactful than “To Pimp A Butterfly” this year.
What also works in Dr. Dre’s favor is the sentimental/send-off factor. The Grammys have a tendency to play respect to artists either posthumously or other emotionally-charged contexts (in this case, being his last album).
So the more I thought about it, I can see Kendrick Lamar be screwed over due to the Dr. Dre factor, and thus allow Chris Stapleton an opening of sorts. I do think Hozier will be his main competition (unless Dr. Dre manages to siphon all the support that otherwise would go to Kendrick Lamar)
November 9, 2015 @ 1:12 am
I think Swift will either take the fifth and final slot, or else be snubbed outright. I honestly predict the latter.
Adele is going to dominate in 2017.
Cool Lester Smooth
November 9, 2015 @ 10:59 am
Honestly, I don’t love TPAB as much as GKMC. I’d give it to Compton, rather than as a makeup for GKMC.
November 9, 2015 @ 11:16 am
Not to underestimate Stapleton’s appeal on his own merit, but here’s how I genuinely look at the nominating picture.
If BOTH Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre earn nominations, Chris Stapleton has a MUCH better shot at winning. If only one of the two do, then Chris Stapleton is a massive underdog (though it feels good being an underdog in this current climate).
If only Lamar or Dr. Dre is nominated, that rapper will be favored to win. If both are nominated, Hozier (assuming he is eligible for Best Album) will be Stapleton’s stiffest competition.
November 9, 2015 @ 7:27 am
*Skeptical -not- spectacle
November 8, 2015 @ 8:01 pm
I hope radio would play him but on Billboard Hot country songs chart he might have top 40 hits on it.
November 8, 2015 @ 8:59 pm
What about the Grammys in February? I could this playing out even bigger in that arena where he has a history of being nominated and larger industry support. They’ll eat this up (and won’t just shove him in the Americana category). I just don’t know what was big on the pop/rock side of things this year that could even challenge Stapleton.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:27 pm
I can’t imagine there being a Grammy bump bigger than this one, though I do think with everyone filling out their ballots right now, Stapleton will benefit. The cat is sort of out of the bag now, meaning any subsequent bumps are not going to have the benefit of him being an unknown (or performing with Timberlake again, unless they string it together once more for the Grammy’s, but not likely).
Then again, who knows? Like I said during the CMAs in the live blog, after Stapleton won Album of the Year, he all of a sudden became the front runner for Male Vocalist, even though going in I didn’t think there was a chance in hell. The calculus has completely changed, and these sales numbers prove it. Who knows where this ball stops rolling.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:50 pm
The final numbers are 153,000 pure album sales this week which is up from 2,000 last week and is an increase of over 6,400%.
‘Tennessee Whiskey’ was the second most downloaded single of the week with 131,000 which should help it debut very high (perhaps top 3) on the Country mongrel chart.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:19 pm
I personally love the fact it took him over 15 years to become an overnight sensation.All those “Who is Chris Stapleton”? tweets were priceless.I didn’t watch the awards & when a buddy texted me about his wins I thought he was pulling my leg.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:26 pm
Apparently the Isbell family were watching the thing and I caught tweets of them congratulating him on the wins and I believed them.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:24 pm
Are they not counting sales from GhostTunes? That’s where I bought my copy and I rather buy music from them compared to I-Tunes because they flat out suck.
To put my two cents on the album, it’s very good but I had to skip over the last two tracks, MOSTLY because I’m on the Autism Spectrum and I don’t like some forms of loud noises and those last two songs he got a little too loud and I couldn’t finish them.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:30 pm
Not exactly sure how GhostTunes does its reporting, but eventually it is going to end up in the numbers from MediaBase and SoundScan. HITS Daily Double does a building chart which is based off of reporting and estimates. And yes, iTunes sucks. At least in my opinion.
November 9, 2015 @ 3:56 pm
Ghosttunes is supposed to provide the info to the sights or report on it. Whether it’s true or not is anyone’s guess. Garth may have sold way less or more depending who you ask. At least that’s what it was for him. Not so certain about other artists on the platform. I don’t think it would be different. Seems like it’s going back in time pre-soundscan in 91.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:28 pm
The truth is he REALLY rocks!!
November 8, 2015 @ 9:32 pm
Will this lead to a better understanding of the disdain that some of us have for Bro-Country? Hope this will lead to some just quietly walking away from the Bro-Country crap. This should open up a discussion in the “Country radio” market on changing their programming to add More substance and less
Metro,bro garbage. By the way, I simply LOVE the fact that Luke Bryan totally fell flat on his performance….no one mentioned his performance. Ha!
Let this be the beginning of the end for Bro Country and EDM on Country Radio. We always have hope.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:40 pm
My local station here in Atlantic Canada never played him since the CMA, not sure if ever before ( I doubt they ever did). They play a bunch of crap like Shania Twain, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and other misfits.
November 8, 2015 @ 9:47 pm
I was at Wal-mart 2 days ago looking at the cd’s and one lady saw me getting country cd’s so she was looking for Chris Stapleton’s cd and I helped her look for the cd because she never heard of him until he won 3 CMA awards but his cd sold out. I got his cd back in June.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:31 pm
I bet you there’s some bare shelves out there under the Stapleton tab right now. They’ll get them filled back soon enough.
November 9, 2015 @ 2:05 pm
Hey Trigger, I’ve been meaning to ask this for awhile, but do you foresee the possibility of a “label” like Thirty Tigers signing some kind of distribution deal with Walmart, Target, or other major retailers?
It would be nice to see the likes of Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Aaron Watson, etcetera in the mainstream CD rack at Walmart, for example. Well, not literally, because that would mean that I’ve succumbed to the beast and am actually standing inside one, but you get my point, ha ha.
I assume Sturgill’s Atlantic debut will be distributed to all major retailers regardless.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:00 pm
For what it’s worth…KDHX 88.1 community radio in St. Louis played Chris’ music months ago. Thanks for commercial free radio…true artist still have a platform..
November 8, 2015 @ 10:11 pm
November 8, 2015 @ 10:18 pm
I guess the big question for a lot of us in the arena now is … how the hell do we ride this wave?
Oh, I know … keep making music that SAYS something, playing shows, and building fans. The next few years could be very very cool for those of us who don’t bend as much towards the popular end of the spectrum.
November 8, 2015 @ 10:19 pm
I follow this site with passion because it allows me to weed out the bull crap and get to grass roots country. Or what I consider, as a 30 year old, to be grass roots for me. I don’t read criticism of Chris and I’m perplexed. Or I missed it, but for argument sake bear with me. It’s a great thing for the genre. For someone mostly unheard of to beat Bros like Jason and Luke, it’s gain in my book. My question is do you agree? Furthermore, do you think that this could be the shift in country music we’ve been waiting for? Personally I can’t go that far. I think we’re at the point of the taboo catch 22. Either he gets mainstream and die hard fans will no longer follow. Or he doesn’t and the music we wish we heard on the radio, won’t be heard. So, where do we go from here? Do we cheer or jeer?
November 8, 2015 @ 10:34 pm
Stapleton’s next move is going to be very, very important, and we really don’t have all the the answers yet of where this is going to lead.
I’m going to have a lot more on this specific subject soon. If Stapleton would stop winning, I would have got to it sooner.
November 9, 2015 @ 5:05 am
This is what my local Top 40 station said the day after Stapleton won:
“Well, people ask us why we’ve never played Chris Stapleton, and well, now that he’s more in the mainstream hopefully we can start playing him!”
I love it, HOPEFULLY we CAN start playing him, because it’s not like he doesn’t have a single out right now and it’s not like you couldn’t have played him.
November 9, 2015 @ 8:51 am
What they really mean is hopefully the assistant regional manager for country programming at the corporate office a thousand miles away from them will tell them to start playing him. These individual stations have virtually zero control over what they play anymore.
November 9, 2015 @ 2:30 pm
It really is pathetic, isn’t it?
November 9, 2015 @ 5:47 am
I haven’t heard him on radio around here yet.
Disappointed the Jompson brothers is download only–I was going to go for the trifecta and pick up Traveller, a SteelDrivers, and a JB on polycarbonate. Oh well.
I did hear his name (sorta) mentioned at a gig, though. ‘Who’s that Curt Staples [sic] that won big on the CMAs? He’s good! Did you hear him singing with Justin Bieber [sic].
So that makes you feel good in one way, but in another way maybe the ignorance makes you feel sic [sic].
November 9, 2015 @ 6:48 am
I am still getting “How come I’ve never heard of this guy” comments from Facebook friends. My standard answer has been to discuss the current state of country radio, and to end with “the moral of the story is good music is out there if you look for it.”
November 9, 2015 @ 9:50 am
Possibly the biggest win by Stapleton’s success was to awaken the country music masses to the fact they’ve been sold a bill of goods, and they’re not being exposed to the good stuff by the people they trust to do so.
November 9, 2015 @ 2:16 pm
“Possibly the biggest win by Stapleton”™s success was to awaken the country music masses to the fact they”™ve been sold a bill of goods, and they”™re not being exposed to the good stuff by the people they trust to do so.”
I think this is a good way of putting it. One type of comment I’ve seen with regard to Stapleton, in addition to all the oblivious “Who is this guy” type comments, is other people saying things like, “Why the hell haven’t I heard this guy’s music before?” or “I can’t believe I’m just now hearing this stuff.”
These people seem genuinely perplexed.
If you go stream any of Stapleton’s songs on YouTube, you’ll see plenty of those types of comments.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:48 am
I am hopeful that this love for Chris Stapleton helps to bring a shift back to substance in County music. He’s just one of so many deserving though. I have this feeling of unease, though, that I don’t know how to put into words. Maybe it’s just a hipster side I didn’t know I had, lol. But I’m feeling protective and uneasy when the soulless, die hard Jason Aldean / Chase Rice / etc. fans are suddenly all about Chris Stapleton. I don’t even know the downside, maybe it just really is a “hey I’m a REAL fan and you’re just a Johnny Come Lately.” Which makes me feel so lame! especially because I never heard this album until this Summer, and wouldn’t know crap about good music currently being made if it weren’t for this website, but there ya go.
flyingburrito24 (formerly 86TELE)
November 9, 2015 @ 8:31 am
I totally understand where you’re coming from. I couldn’t be happier to see an artist like Chris succeed and finally get the recognition he deserves. However, I know that next time he comes to town, the bar will be completely packed with douches. Its bad enough trying to see a band like the Departed or Mike and the Moonpies without some peckerhead fuckin’ around on his phone or blabbing to a group of other peckerheads the whole time. I think that people go just to say they were there, though they have no interest in the music at all. At least up in Chicago. Anyhow, rant over.
November 9, 2015 @ 9:48 am
This isn’t about soul-less Chase Rice fans now being fans of Stapleton, this is about Stapleton allowing true country fans to be able to take the paper bags off of their heads and proclaim their loyalty to the genre without being embarrassed. Jason Aldean fans aren’t the ones who constituted those sales. They don’t buy anything; that’s why Aldean just put his music back on Spotify. Not saying there isn’t a little bleed over, but these are folks who saw Chris Stapleton, and connected with his music.
November 9, 2015 @ 2:48 pm
While it is not necessarily the Chase Rice fan who is buying the new album, I can guarantee that the Timberlake had a huge impact on these sales. Numbers that high aren’t due to country fans that were embarrassed, finally taking those bags off and buying albums. Stapleton seized his moment, but you take away Timberlake from that moment and it is a moment that all of us griping about saving country music only appreciate. Album sales spike up about 25k at the most if he does that by himself. I have already seen it in a lot of people who couldn’t spell country last week, talking about Stapleton now. That is not necessarily bad though, because if that can flip people over to real music then it is a good thing. One thing that is very true is that a lot of young kids who think Timberlake is so cool also are the same people that think FGL music is great. I think those kids could now be flipped over a little bit, because they are honestly the ones who are worried about being cool and now this music is cool.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:01 pm
With all due respect, I am a Jason Alden fan (despite the fact that he is considered a total douchenozzle [i believe that’s the term used here]) and I bought stapleton’s solo debut the day it was released based on the comments on this site. Once I liked it, I bought both steeldrivers releases with him on vocals and the Jompson brothers as well. Just sayin’.
November 9, 2015 @ 7:35 am
They got what they wanted. Promotion. Too bad they had to “use” a pop celebrity
November 9, 2015 @ 8:42 am
I think the Stapleton album is good.
It is good for country music.
I don’t think it is even close to Sturgill or Jason’s latest.
I believe his connections have helped him more than we tend to acknowledge.
He is an insider, like it or not.
I wonder where he goes from here.
I’ve seen him live and as a musician, he was good.
He did not take me to that next level I like when seeing someone live (Again Sturgill)
We’ll see the staying power.
Kinda irks me that I drive into work listening to his version of Drink a Beer and now he is Bobbi Bones freaking hero.
November 9, 2015 @ 10:47 am
Yes we all know he is an industry insider. Just like Jamey Johnson was an industry insider. We want all these guys to be the poor indie types that hold the value of the music over the value of money, but that isn’t always the case. Some guys use their writing abilities to make a little cash. I don’t think any of us can judge them for that. It seems to me that Chris, like Jamey, kept the good stuff for themselves though. The same folks that judge Jamey Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, will judge Chris for Crash and Burn.
My point being, none of these guys will be perfect. We have no clue what to expect from Sturgill’s first major label album. We don’t know what an Isbell album would song like if he had a major executive controlling the music. If you just don’t like Stapleton and say it’s not traditional country then fine. Let’s just not sit here and think the wool has been pulled over our eyes here. Do you really think Stapleton has been playing a part ever since the first Steeldriver album? Is this some big illuminati trick to mess with us all? Come on folks, the dude wrote some bad songs so he could get paid. I’ll accept that if it means we got the Traveller album out of it.
Sorry to rant and post long, but this is getting outta hand. Some people are never happy.
November 9, 2015 @ 2:27 pm
People forget that Willie Nelson was basically an industry insider. He exiled himself to Austin for awhile and refined his style, but I would bet that his connections within the country music industry helped him get his foot in the door when he finally blew up as a mainstream star. Waylon Jennings also had plenty of industry connections.
Granted, that was a different time.
November 9, 2015 @ 3:18 pm
I wanted to make the Waylon and Willie connection but didn’t wanna go that far yet. But both of those guys had been in the industry for over a decade before they decided to get outta town, and make The Outlaws record. Both of those guys had success in the Nashville scene before they vaulted. I just don’t think Stapleton is going to cut his hair, shave his beard, and put on skinny jeans anytime soon. This is who he has been for as long as I’ve known of him. He just seems like a humble, down to earth dude. He’s opened for acts a lot less famous than him. I’ve seen him open for Charlie Worsham, half the crowd was getting up to leave till Chris said he wasn’t signing anything till Charlie was through. He has people’s support in all areas of the business whether it is Luke Bryan or Jason Isbell. He isn’t the “savior”, but maybe he is the one that bridges the gap.
November 9, 2015 @ 11:27 am
How about the Hot country songs chart for Chris?
November 9, 2015 @ 12:25 pm
Not sure yet. Haven’t seen anything about it, but I’m sure he’ll be on there somewhere. Since it also takes into account radio play, he’s still going to be at a disadvantage. It gets updated online Tuesday.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:54 pm
‘Tennessee Whiskey’ debuts at #23 on the all genre Hot 100 which should be good enough for #1 on the Hot Country Songs mongrel chart as Thomas Rhett led it last week while in the thirties on the Hot 100. New chart will be released tonight when the Country Update goes out.
November 9, 2015 @ 9:24 pm
Tennessee Whiskey is #1 on the Hot country song chart.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:50 pm
If radio doesn’t give him a chance, after the CMA effect wears out, all was (almost) in vain.
It’s true, you don’t have to be on radio to exist and to sell records and tickets, but if we want country music to be saved we need a real country singer making it big in the mainstream. AKA hit singles.
November 9, 2015 @ 1:58 pm
Some initial signs that Stapleton is getting a little radio love after the wins. We’ll know more in the coming days as the numbers roll in.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:12 pm
Sounds like we need to start pounding our stations and ask when are they going to start playing Stapleton. Maybe if enough people call for it, we’ll get some.
November 9, 2015 @ 9:14 pm
‘Nobody To Blame’ debuted at #46 on the new Country Airplay chart which is pretty good. Next week will be a good indicator if this is all afterglow from the CMAs or if this song has a shot at being a radio hit.
November 9, 2015 @ 4:00 pm
I hope he does get radio airplay. I listen to country radio, granted that it is when my alarm goes off. But, so far I haven’t heard him in the mornings when I do listen to it.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:07 pm
I am surprised no one mentioned the following: I think it was on Tuesday, I saw, in addition to songs from Traveler on iTunes top 10 downloads, also his debut single, What Are You Listening To? I thought it was interesting that that song, both a flop commercially, and derided on this site, caught air from all this. Interestingly, I like that song when mixed in with his other stuff. It’s terribly poppy, but then again, damn catchy. Anyway, I can see people going back and now discovering Traveler, but for a two year old stand alone single to also gain momentum seems unusual. .,.but then this whole situation seems unusual.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
He had another song “You Should Probably Leave” that he was playing in concerts a couple years ago, with “What Are You Listening Too”, that I hope gets released eventually. It was popish, but solid.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:35 pm
By the way, I guess we can officially say that Mercury Records’ experiment in letting Chris Stapleton record this album paid off!
I hope all the major Nashville record labels are paying attention.
November 9, 2015 @ 6:43 pm
Just called into 99.5 The Wolf here in Dallas to request “Tennessee Whiskey”. I might be only one voice and I might get completely blown off, but at least I’ve made my voice heard. Hopefully I’m not the only one and eventually they’ll feel some pressure to play him.
November 9, 2015 @ 8:14 pm
I found a lengthy interview with Cobb that some might enjoy: http://www.twangnation.com/2015/11/04/david-cobb-the-man-behind-the-roots-music-tide/