The 2016 Grammy Award nominations are out. Several “mainstream” artists who won last year received nominations again including: Ms. Taylor Swift and The Weeknd who both received 7 nominations each. Rapper, Kendrick Lamar is the leading nominee with 11 nominations.
One singer/songwriter whose album was nominated for a Grammy this year isn’t exactly a household name, Chris Stapleton. His debut album, “Traveller” is nominated for “Album of the Year.” Stapleton a Country singer/songwriter from Kentucky, recently won three CMA awards, including “Male Vocalist of the Year.”
When the Grammy nominee news hit earlier today, the internet exploded as music fans reacted to the nominees. On Twitter @purposetori tweeted, “Who is Chris Stapleton?”
@csnyder tweeted, “I did not even know Chris Stapleton until the CMA’s this year.”
Stapleton may not be a household name but he’s no overnight success either. Stapleton has been in the music business for the past fifteen years. The award winning songwriter has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Country music including: Kenney Chesney, Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, and Darius Rucker.
If there was a defining moment in Stapleton’s career, he may agree it was the moment he stepped onstage and performed live, “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away” alongside Justin Timberlake at the CMA Awards. Timberlake and Stapleton’s soulful performance truly marked Chris’ successful transition into mainstream music.
Stapleton isn’t the first artist to crossover to mainstream music or the first underground musician to gain world-wide popularity from collaborating with a famous musician. Sia, Butch Walker, Jessie J and Keri Hilson all have careers that gained mass appeal from collaborating with more well-known artists.
In 2009, Jessie J wrote the hit song, "Party in the USA" for Miley Cyrus. In 2011, Jessie released her debut album, “Big White Room.” Jessie J recently revealed, thanks to writing for Cyrus she was able to pay her bills.
"Knock You Down" singer Keri Hilson sparked her solo career shortly after writing the Britney Spears hit "Break The Ice.” Hilson was also featured in Timbaland's “The Way I Are,” in 2007.
Before Singer/Songwriter, Butch Walker went solo, he was one of the music industry's most sought after writer/producers in the biz. Walker was well known for creating award winning hit songs with mainstream artists; Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, P!nk, and Katy Perry. Butch recently released a book, documentary and a solo album,“Afraid of Ghosts,” earlier this year.
Several artists have thanked Sia for penning them a hit song. Christina Aguilera's, "You Lost Me" was written by Sia. The artist is also well known for writing "Pretty Hurts" for Beyonce and "Diamonds" for Rihanna. Sia has admitted she not only made millions from those collaborations but now she has a world famous signature hairstyle and hit song, "Chandelier.”
Don’t be surprised to see Stapleton win the Grammy for best album. You’ll have to wait till next year to find out. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards airs live on February 18, 2016.