Chris Stapleton ¦ Traveller

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Traveller is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. The album was produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton, and was released on May 5, 2015, through Mercury Nashville.

Described by music publications as an old-school country, Southern rock record, Traveller received critical acclaim and earned Stapleton several awards. It was named Album of the Year at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards. Furthermore, it received a nomination at the 58th Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and a win for Best Country Album. The song "Traveller" also won Best Country Solo Performance. At the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards it won Album of the Year, with the song "Nobody to Blame" also winning Song of the Year. It won the Billboard Music Award for Top Country Album in 2016 and 2017.

Traveller reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart after the 2015 Country Music Association Awards, during which Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performed a well-received duet. The album has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over 2.6 million copies in the United States by November 2019.[2] It was eventually ranked by Billboard as the bestselling country album of the 2010s.[3] It generated three singles: "Traveller", "Nobody to Blame", and "Parachute". "Nobody to Blame" reached the top 10 on the Country Airplay chart.[4] The album track "Fire Away" was accompanied by a music video.[5] Though not released as a radio single, album track "Tennessee Whiskey" garnered popularity following its performance at the aforementioned CMA awards, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and number 20 on the Hot 100.[6][7]

Music and composition

I lost my dad in October 2013 and did a little bit of soul-searching. My wife was kind enough to buy me an old Jeep. We flew out to Phoenix and drove it all the way back to Nashville through the desert. I thought a lot about music and my dad, and the things that he would have liked that I should be doing. Out of that, I actually wrote the song 'Traveller' driving down Interstate 40 through New Mexico. That became the cornerstone for the record and wound up being the title track.

 — Stapleton speaking about his inspiration for the album during an interview with Billboard[8]

The album is an old-school country record mixed with Southern rock. Tracks on the album features electric guitar, mandolin, and acoustic guitar. "The Devil Named Music" exclaims the hard life on the road, while "Might As Well Get Stoned" features resignation lyrics.[9] Musically, "Sometimes I Cry" is a blues song,[9] "Nobody to Blame" a mid-tempo country rock track,[10] and "Fire Away" features a beat in a classic soul-ballad time signature.[11] "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore" shrouds reflections about his father in the language of religious backsliding and was previously covered by Julie Roberts in 2013.[12] In an interview for Rolling Stone, Stapleton commented "If somebody tells me it sounds dated, I'd say that's great, as long as the date is 1978. My favorite things are from then."[9]

Stapleton wrote or co-wrote all but two of the album's 14 tracks. The album features a blues-influenced cover of David Allan Coe's single "Tennessee Whiskey", and Charlie Daniels' "Was It 26", written by Don Sampson.[9]

Commercial performance

The album debuted on the Top Country Albums chart at number two, and the Billboard 200 at number 14, selling 27,000 copies in the week ending May 10.[13]

Six months after the album was released, Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performed "Tennessee Whiskey" at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards where Traveller won Album of the Year.[14] Following the performance, sales for the album increased 6,000%[15] and it re-entered the Billboard 200 at number one after being absent from the chart since September, with 177,000 equivalent album units (153,000 in pure album sales). According to Billboard, the surge in sales is owed to how a mass audience discovered Stapleton on the November 4 CMA Awards broadcast. Traveller is also the first debut country album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 in over four years, with Clear as Day (2011) by Scotty McCreery being the last.[16] It became the first album to reenter the chart at number one. It remained at number one for a second week with 124,000 album-equivalent units, including 97,000 pure album sales.[17] The album track "Tennessee Whiskey" topped the Hot Country Songs chart,[18] and reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album sold 685,000 copies in the United States in 2015.[19] In February 2016, Traveller was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and double platinum in September.[20] It became the fourth best-selling album of 2016 in the nation, and the top selling country album, with 1.04 million copies sold that year.[19] The album surpassed the 2 million sales mark in the US in July 2017,[21] and it was the second best-selling country album of 2017 (after Stapleton's second album From A Room: Volume 1.[22] It hold the records for the most weeks atop the Americana/Folk Albums chart (81 in total as of August 2019).[23] It topped the Billboard Year-End Top Country Albums chart in 2016 and 2017.[24][25] It was certified quadruple platinum on July 24, 2019 for 4 million units in sales and streams.[20] As of March 2020, the album has accrued 4.3 million units in the country in total,[26] with 2.6 million copies in traditional album sales.[2]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Digital JournalA[30]
The Daily Telegraph[33]
Wall Street Journal(Favorable)[34]

Traveller received critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album has received an average score of 85, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 6 reviews.[27] In a review for Billboard, editor Caitlin White gave the album four-out-of-five stars, describing Traveller as a "solemn album, the work of a man gripped by life's impermanence", noting "undercurrents of regret, loss and resignation" in songs like "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore", "Nobody to Blame" and "Devil Named Music". About the record's sound direction, she commented "Stapleton's songs are both rhythmic and nuanced, perhaps a by-product of years spent writing for others. They feature a cast of characters that remain likable even as they rush headlong into pursuit of ruin, fortune or chance." White concluded "it's a triumphant debut, encapsulating the grit of life, turning it into a hell of a journey."[12] In Los Angeles Times, Randy Lewis wrote "Stapleton's trenchant pen combines with his soul-drenched rasp of a voice for a moving exploration of the panoply of emotions in the human experience."[35]

Critics from Rolling Stone opined Traveller "encapsulates everything that makes him one of the most powerful and unique voices in country music today: gravelly, soulful and full of songs that ring like instant classics without ever resting too deeply in the past."[36] In their year-end summary they stated "every track goes straight for the emotional jugular and give a glimpse inside a wildly introspective mind."[37] Editor Owen R. Smith from The Seattle Times noted the instruments mandolin, banjo, pedal steel guitar "are all given room to shine, even when Stapleton dips his toe into some menacing country rock in "Nobody to Blame" or electrified bluesy swagger in "Might As Well Get Stoned.""[10]


American SongwriterTop 50 Albums of 2015
Billboard25 Best Albums of 2015
Brooklyn MagazineThe Best of 2015
no order
The 20 Best Country Albums of 2015
Entertainment WeeklyThe 40 Best Albums of 2015
NPR50 Favorite Albums of 2015
no order
Rolling Stone50 Best Albums of 2015
40 Best Country Albums of 2015
StereogumThe 50 Best Albums of 2015


2015Country Music Association AwardsAlbum of the YearWon[46]
2016Grammy AwardsAlbum of the YearNominated[47]
Best Country AlbumWon
Academy of Country Music AwardsAlbum of the Year[48]
Billboard Music AwardsTop Country Album[49]
American Country Countdown AwardsAlbum of the Year[50]
Americana Music Honors & AwardsAlbum of the YearNominated[51]
American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album[52]
2017iHeartRadio Music AwardsCountry Album of the YearWon[53]
Billboard Music AwardsTop Country Album[54]

Track listing

All tracks are produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton.

1."Traveller"Chris Stapleton3:42
2."Fire Away"
  • Stapleton
  • Danny Green
3."Tennessee Whiskey"4:53
5."Whiskey and You"3:56
6."Nobody to Blame"4:04
7."More of You"
  • Stapleton
  • Bowman
8."When the Stars Come Out"
9."Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore"Stapleton4:09
10."Might as Well Get Stoned"
  • Stapleton
  • Jimmy Alan Stewart
  • Justin McGhee
11."Was It 26"Don Sampson4:49
12."The Devil Named Music"Stapleton6:07
13."Outlaw State of Mind"
14."Sometimes I Cry"
  • Stapleton
  • Clint Ingersoll
Total length:63:29


Credits for Traveller adapted from AllMusic.[55]

Chart performance


Certifications for Traveller
RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[85]Gold35,000
Canada (Music Canada)[86]Gold40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[87]Gold10,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[88]Gold100,000
United States (RIAA)[20]6× Platinum6,000,000[26]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

List of release dates, showing region, edition, formats, label, and reference
VariousMay 5, 2015StandardMercury Nashville[89]
United KingdomMarch 4, 2016VinylDecca[90]
United StatesMay 26, 2015Mercury Nashville[91]


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External links


Veröffentlichungen von Chris Stapleton die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Starting Over ¦ Traveller

Chris Stapleton auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Chris Stapleton (2019)

Christopher Alvin „Chris“ Stapleton (* 15. April 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky) ist ein US-amerikanischer Countrysänger, Gitarrist und Songwriter sowie achtfacher Grammy-Preisträger.


Stapleton wuchs in Kentucky auf dem Land in der Ortschaft Staffordsville auf. Mit 23 Jahren ging er nach Nashville, um eine Karriere als Countrymusiker zu starten. Zuerst war er nur als Songwriter unter Vertrag. Über die Jahre entwickelte er sich zu einem sehr erfolgreichen Liedautor, er schrieb für viele bekannte Musiker wie George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan und Tim McGraw. Adele machte 2011 eine Aufnahme von seinem Song If It Hadn’t Been for Love als Bonustrack.

Seinen ersten eigenen Erfolg als Musiker hatte er 2008 mit der Bluegrass-Band The SteelDrivers. Ihr Debütalbum mit dem Bandnamen als Titel war in den Bluegrass- und Countrycharts erfolgreich und für den Song Blue Side of the Mountain erhielten sie eine Grammy-Nominierung. Noch vor Veröffentlichung eines zweiten Albums verließ Stapleton jedoch die Band und gründete mit den Jompson Brothers eine Southern-Rock-Band. Sie hielt jedoch nur drei Jahre und er begann danach eine Solokarriere. Mit seiner Debütsingle What Are You Listening To? hatte er 2013 einen kleineren Radioerfolg bei den Countrysendern.

2015 erschien dann sein Solo-Debütalbum Traveller. Trotz Kritikerlobs blieb der große kommerzielle Erfolg zunächst aus. Platz 14 in den offiziellen Albumcharts war im Frühjahr die beste Platzierung. Erst als Stapleton bei den CMA Awards überraschend zum großen Gewinner wurde und nicht nur mit dem Preis für das beste Album, sondern auch als bester Newcomer und als bester Sänger ausgezeichnet wurde,[1] stellte sich auch unmittelbar der Erfolg bei den Countryfans ein. Das Album stieg auf Platz 1 sowohl der Country-, als auch der offiziellen Charts, es verkaufte sich über zwei Millionen Mal (Doppelplatin). Die Single Tennessee Whiskey war ebenfalls ein Millionenseller und ein Country-Nummer-eins-Hit. Sieben weitere Singles kamen auch in die Countrycharts. Bei den Grammy Awards 2016 wurde er viermal nominiert, darunter auch in der Kategorie Album des Jahres. Für das Album und die Single Traveller gewann er schließlich zwei Country-Auszeichnungen.

Auch 2018 war er der erfolgreichste Countrymusiker bei den Grammys. Mit dem Album From A Room (Volume 1) – das A steht für Studio A bei RCA Nashville – und den Songs Either Way und Broken Halos gewann er drei der vier Auszeichnungen in der Country-Sparte. Stapleton gewann 2021 bei den Academy of Country Music Awards in der Kategorie „Album des Jahres“ für „Starting Over“.[2][3] Das Album machte ihn auch bei den Grammy Awards 2022 erneut zum erfolgreichsten Countrymusiker und brachte ihm drei weitere Auszeichnungen. Beim Super Bowl LVII 2023 sang er die US-amerikanische Hymne.[4]


Chris Stapleton (2017)


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungenTemplate:Charttabelle/Wartung/ohne Quellen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
 DE AT CH UK US Coun­try
Mercury Records / UMG
(3 Wo.)DE

(1 Wo.)UK

(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2015US
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2015Coun­try
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. Mai 2015
Grammy (Country)
2017From A Room: Volume 1
Mercury Records / UMG
(1 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK

(100 Wo.)US
(142 Wo.)Coun­try
Erstveröffentlichung: 5. Mai 2017
Grammy (Country)
From A Room: Volume 2
Mercury Nashville / UMG
(1 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK

(45 Wo.)US
(77 Wo.)Coun­try
Erstveröffentlichung: 1. Dezember 2017
2020Starting Over
Mercury Nashville / UMG
(1 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK

(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2020US
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2020Coun­try
Erstveröffentlichung: 13. November 2020
Grammy (Country)
Mercury Nashville / UMG
(1 Wo.)DE
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2023AT
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2023CH
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2023UK
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2023US
Erstveröffentlichung: 10. November 2023



  1. Datenbank der CMA Awards (Memento vom 9. Juli 2017 im Internet Archive)
  2. Melinda Newman: 6 Can’t-Miss Moments From the 2021 ACM Awards. Billboard, 19. April 2021, abgerufen am 19. Oktober 2023 (englisch).
  3. Luke Bryan ist Country-Entertainer des Jahres. Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 19. April 2021, archiviert vom Original am 19. April 2021; abgerufen am 19. Oktober 2023.
  4. Chris Stapleton und Babyface treten beim Super Bowl auf. Die Presse, 24. Januar 2023, abgerufen am 12. Februar 2023.