When Chris Stapleton took the stage last week at the CMA Awards to perform for millions watching at home, the night's big winner had an ace up his sleeve — and it wasn't Justin Timberlake. Stapleton's wife Morgane was just to his left backing him on vocals, offering not only musical but moral support as well.
Frequently on tour with her husband, Morgane is the mama bear of the Stapleton road show, keeping band, crew and sometimes even fans in check. During an unforgettable show in May in Nashville, she broke up a fight from the stage, chastising the punch-thrower with some cutting words. But it's the chemistry she shares with Chris that is her greatest contribution, both onstage and on the album Traveller, which won Album of the Year at the CMAs. Watching them perform, it's hard not to think of Johnny Cash and June Carter.
"It's how we're drawn to each other in the first place, was music. That's our foundation in a lot of ways. Maybe that's what shows," Morgane says. "I don't want to make music without him."
Stapleton himself echoes those sentiments, recalling a recent concert at the Ryman Auditorium where he nearly lost his voice.
"I couldn't talk the day before the Ryman show, but she was over there pulling me up," he says. "And she does that every time, and vice versa. If she's not feeling it, I can pick up the slack. That's what we do for each other, onstage."
The Stapletons have had a big week since the CMAs, with Traveller landing in the top spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart — six months after its initial release.
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