Entertainer of the Year is the biggest category of the night, and it encompasses excellence in everything about an artist's career, from their music to their singing to their live presence. Stapleton has everything needed in that package in spades; he's one of country music's best pure vocalists, and he's also one of country music's best songwriters along with being a standout guitarist.
His most recent album, From A Room: Vol. 1, is both enormously critically acclaimed and commercially successful, a rare feat, and Stapleton has been selling out the biggest venues in the country on his All American Road Show Tour, also proving that he is one of the genre's top live entertainers.
Read on for all of the reasons Chris Stapleton deserves to win Entertainer of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards, and tell us why you agree or disagree in the comments section below.
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Stapleton's From A Room: Vol. 1 contains some of the best-written songs of the year. The artist has not compromised one bit for commercial radio, offering up a mix of country, blues and Americana that is purely authentic and challenging his fans with songs like "Them Stems," "Death Row" and "Second One to Know."
Stapleton is one of the most genuinely gifted singers in country music today. He can belt out a powerful blues-rock-country song and hit some impossibly high, scorching notes, but he can also pull back and deliver a stark ballad with little embellishment and be just as effective. His vocal chops are definitely one reason he should win Entertainer of the Year.
Stapleton's been out on the road selling out shows in huge venues with his All American Road Show Tour, which is one of the biggest of the year. His shows are unlike anything else in country music, featuring a mix of his hits and covers, with long instrumental sections that let his ace band really lean into the deep grooves and transport the audience.
Stapleton is not an artist who needs a lot of hype and studio trickery to make his career happen. He's completely unpretentious, entertaining his audience merely by writing great songs and then performing them live with power and confidence, without a lot of manufactured PR sizzle to accompany it. That's exactly the kind of artist we should be celebrating for Entertainer of the Year.
There's no other artist in mainstream commercial country music that resembles Chris Stapleton. From the songs he writes to the way he sings them, all the way down to the way he presents himself visually, Stapleton is completely unique, and he's quietly uncompromising about it. He's not the kind of artist who gives a lot of defiant speeches and interviews about how different he is; he just simply is, and that authenticity is just one more reason Stapleton deserves to win Entertainer of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.