Country’s newest legend in the making Chris Stapleton took home Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2016 ACM Awards, beating out several well-known vets in the business for the coveted honor.

Stapleton has won several awards recently including other ACMs, Grammys and CMA Awards, so this time he wanted to focus his acceptance speech on a few specific people, he said.

“So many people to thank,” Stapleton began. “I wanna thank some people I haven’t gotten to thank before — people who brought me to town."

Stapleton was genuinely honored to receive the award, as his wife, who sings background vocals with him, looked on proudly from the audience. "Thank you everybody, and thank you for being so kind to me, I really, truly appreciate it,” he said sincerely.

He was up against Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Brett Eldredge for the award but came out on top for his work on his gritty debut solo country record Traveller. The album has been rocking the country world over the past year, particularly after his show-stopping performance at the CMA Awards last fall with Justin Timberlake. Though he has been in the industry for years as a songwriter, since then his career has skyrocketed and his name has become one of the most recognizable in the genre. Stapleton is going on a sold-out tour this summer and recently added more dates due to popular demand.

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