If Chris Stapleton wasn’t already a hero in his Paintsville, Kentucky hometown, he certainly is now.
Last week, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter returned to his old stomping grounds at Johnson Central High School to perform and hopefully inspire a new generation of artists. In conjunction with Ram Trucks and ACM Lifting Lives, Stapleton’s visit will be documented in a series of videos like the one above and another that will air during the ACM Awards on April 3rd.
Stapleton’s whirlwind two-day trip included the donation of $57,000 worth of much-needed band instruments by Lifting Lives through its partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The Johnson Central music teacher and a handful of students were surprised with the donation and a visit with Stapleton.
On the second day, Stapleton played two shows — a private concert for students and teachers at Johnson Central and a free ‘Ram Trucks Hometown Concert’ for the Paintsville community. Additionally, that afternoon included the unveiling and dedication of The Golden Eagle Stage Powered by Ram Trucks, an outdoor stage built by Ram Nation volunteers and students from Johnson Central’s carpentry program.
“Chris’ visit isn’t something that anyone here, not the kids, nor the teachers or community, will ever forget,” said Johnson Central principal Russell Halsey in a statement. “His hard work is an inspiration to us all and the generosity of Ram, Lifting Lives, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and all the volunteers that worked so hard during the two days, was truly overwhelming. It left us all with full hearts.”
This weekend, Stapleton will perform on the 51st ACM Awards in Las Vegas, where his multiple nominations include Album of the Year for Traveller and Male Vocalist of the Year.