Chris Stapleton's visit to his Kentucky high school today will leave a lasting footprint.
As reported last week, the ACM's New Male Vocalist of the Year winner will play a free concert at Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1996. Sponsored by Ram Trucks, today's activities now also include an additional, private show for students, educators and administrators at the school.
Stapleton, Ram and ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music, also have a special gift in store for Johnson Central: a new outdoor performance space to be dedicated on school grounds today. The Golden Eagle Stage Powered by Ram Trucks was constructed by high school carpentry students in conjunction with a team of Ram truck owners who've volunteered their time.
"It’s a great opportunity and honor for us to go back to Paintsville with Chris to document his return to the place that built his character and work-ethic," says Marissa Hunter, Ram's Director of Brand Advertising, FCA US. "Ram will be creating videos from this experience to show millions of people the very special town and moments that made Chris the man he is today."
You'll be able to catch one of those videos here on Rolling Stone Country next week.
Stapleton was his class valedictorian at Johnson Central High School. He went on to study engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he immersed himself in the local music scene.