After taking home his first Grammy Award during the non-televised portion of the ceremony, winning Best Country Solo Performance for his song “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton added to his tally, winning Best Country Album for his debut LP Traveller.
“I’d like to thank Taylor Swift for glitter-bombing me before,” Stapleton said upon taking the stage, referencing Swift’s sparkling opening performance. “This is something you never ever dream of, and I’m super grateful for,” he continued. “I want to thank my wife. . . all the guys in the band, in the crew, all the fans.”
Added Traveller‘s producer Dave Cobb, “Thanks to our families for putting up with us.” The album has become a must-have among country fans, propelled into the pop-culture consciousness after Stapleton’s duet with Justin Timberlake on the album cut “Tennessee Whiskey” at November’s CMA Awards. Stapleton is also up for the all-genre Album of the Year tonight.
Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” earned a pair of trophies earlier in the day, one for the band’s performance of the stark ballad “Girl Crush,” the other for the song’s writers Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose. “Thank you for bringing us to this big ol’ party,” said Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, addressing the trio of songwriters. “This is the best thing ever. Thank you, thank you, we are so happy,” added an exuberant Phillip Sweet, who with Jimi Westbrook and Kimberly Schlapman round out the group.
Other pre-telecast winners include Jason Isbell and the SteelDrivers. Isbell, the former guitarist for the Drive-By Truckers who has established himself as the kingpin of the Americana genre since launching a solo career, won Best Americana Album for Something More Than Free.
His song “24 Frames” was also named Best American Roots Song. The lyrics address the notion of how loss can instantly alter one’s life. “I still have the problem of thinking I’m in control of things I’m not in control of,” he told Rolling Stone earlier this year about “24 Frames.” “No matter what you thought your plans were, that’s not how things are going to work out, and that’s the only way you can really, I think, live successfully.”