Chris Stapleton Soars With ‘Starting Over’ at the 2020 CMA Awards
Stapleton wowed the limited crowd by standing in the center of the stage a few feet from one microphone picking up all of the sound from his acoustic guitar and vocals. Morgane Stapleton joined her husband after the first chorus, delivering the flawless harmonies fans have come to expect. Easily the most organic performance of the night, "Starting Over" hit perfectly — and harder — during the modified CMA Awards setup.
Though the singer looked as at-home as ever on the CMA Awards stage, Stapleton's performance was actually one of the later additions to the Wednesday night broadcast. His appearance for "Starting Over" was announced on Monday (Nov. 9), just two days before the 2020 CMAs. That news came after Florida Georgia Line's planned performance was nixed after FGL bandmate Tyler Hubbard tested positive for COVID-19 the week before the show.
But Stapleton also had much to celebrate from the CMAs stage: His new album, also called Starting Over, is due out on Friday (Nov. 13). The 14-track collection is the singer's fourth studio project. Aside from the title track, fans have heard a couple more songs from Starting Over, including "Arkansas" and "Cold."
The singer's got quite a history with the CMA Awards stage. In 2015, a then-relatively-unknown Stapleton was nominated for four trophies, including two for his debut album, Traveller, as well as New Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He won in all four categories.
But perhaps even more memorably, the singer launched himself into superstar status overnight during the 2015 CMAs, when he gave the performance of the night: an onstage duet with pop star Justin Timberlake. The pair performed Stapleton's debut single, "Tennessee Whiskey," along with Timberlake's "Drink You Away."
Stapleton has since gone on to win numerous trophies in subsequent years.