“You are my sunshine” is inscribed inside Chris Stapleton’s wedding ring, a gift from his wife and onstage partner Morgane Stapleton. Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the couple turned in a live performance of their personal song that, to a portion of the populace, couldn’t help but be received as a musical salve.
With Morgane taking the lead – as she does on the studio version that appears on the Southern Family compilation album – the Jimmie Davis traditional became a reassuring promise, with the couple pledging to never abandon each other in the face of impending hard times. But while Chris deferred to his wife, he didn’t stay in the shadows, unleashing his signature growl at just the right moments, as well as an angsty, slashing guitar solo.
As both a musical and personal unit, the Stapletons reinforced the idea that they are today’s Johnny and June – but also proved they can stand alone and excel as individual artists. In light of Chris’s Male Vocalist of the Year repeat win at last week’s 50th CMA Awards, it makes one wonder if Morgane’s Female nod is down the road.