Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton made his Stern Show debut on Tuesday morning in a wide-ranging interview with Howard as well as a live in-studio performance of "Broken Halos," a song off his new album "From A Room: Volume 1."
After spending years penning hits for other artists (like Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, and Luke Bryan), Chris is now a chart-topping solo artist himself with a voice unlike any other in country music. Just how unique is it? Chris told Howard about landing his first contract with Capitol Records after simply singing from the phonebook during his audition.
"Almost as a joke but yeah, they offered me a record deal," Chris said.
Before going out on his own, Chris fronted the bluegrass band the SteelDrivers and recorded the song "If It Hadn't Been for Love." That track landed on Adele's radar and soon the pop superstar decided to put out her own version of the song on YouTube.
"This was before Adele was Adele," Chris told Howard. He then got an email from Rounder Records founder Ken Irwin suggesting Chris should push his publishing company to ask Adele to include the cover song on her upcoming album.
"I was like, 'Well that's great Ken. Who's Adele?' That was literally my email back," Chris admitted. The track did end up on the U.K. limited edition of "21" and Chris told Howard he was "thrilled" by how she interpreted his song.
"I love her as a singer and as an artist," Chris said. "I always kind of like to write the songs and they get turned loose into the world and who knows what happens with them."
Other A-list talents have become fans of Chris's, including Justin Timberlake, who duetted with Stapleton at the 2015 CMAs. The plan to perform together happened after Chris got a call from Justin's wife, actress Jessica Biel, inviting him to play at Timberlake's upcoming birthday party.
"It was more of a, kind of a, 'Hey, come out and hang out and play a little bit,'" Chris explained. He didn't get paid, per se, but Justin and Jessica did cover the cost of Chris's trip, including a first-class flight and some top-of-the-line accommodations. The party was very intimate and Chris told Howard he felt truly welcomed.
In 2015, Chris's debut solo album "Traveller" became both a critical and commercial success, selling roughly two million copies and earning him several awards and accolades. His follow-up album "From A Room: Volume 1" gets its title from the Nashville's RCA Studio A, which has hosted several other legendary artists in the past like Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, and even Elvis Presley.
"There's a lot of history in that room," Chris told Howard. "It certainly inspires me."
Chris wrote one track off his new album, "Broken Halos," 10 years ago after a friend mentioned reading that phrase in Keith Richards's biography. The Rolling Stones guitarist wrote of friends in his life who had passed away, referring to them as "broken halos."
"We thought that … was worth a song," Chris said before doing an acoustic performance of the single. Check out Chris Stapleton singing "Broken Halos" (below).
Chris Stapleton's new album "From A Room: Volume 1" is available now. For tour dates and other info go to ChrisStapleton.com.