Chris Stapleton Speaks Out About Kentucky Flooding Recovery Efforts

by Sean Griffin

At the ACM Honors show on Fox, country superstar Chris Stapleton spoke about the recent hardships caused by the summer floods in his native Kentucky.

“It’s complete and utter devastation,” the singer said in plain words. “And I don’t know what it’s going to take to recover.”

“It’s going to take a lot. A lot more than any of us want to do. It’s going to take a lot of hands. It’ll take people on the ground who were there a lot longer than I was. I was there a few days. It’s going to take a lot.”

For his full remarks, watch the clip here or below.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on July 28. Officials described the flooding as a “thousand-year event.”

The storms poured up to 10.4 inches (260 mm) of rain on parts of the state. Kentucky cities severely affected by the floods include: Hazard, Jackson, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, Martin, Pikeville, Hindman, Whitesburg, Fleming-Neon, and Jenkins.

The fatality count from the event in Kentucky reached 38 lives. Seventeen people died in Knott County, nine in Breathitt County, and seven in Perry County. Three people perished in Letcher County and two in Clay County. Truly, as Stapleton remarked, Kentucky has faced “complete and utter devastation” by the catastrophic flooding.

Chris Stapleton’s Start in Country Music

The Staffordsville, Kentucky native is one of the most talented, acclaimed, and widely-recognized country singers in the industry. The beloved singer-songwriter is a juggernaut of country music. He owns eight Grammy Awards, ten Academy of Country Music Awards, and fourteen Country Music Association Awards. He was also named ACM’s Artist-Songwriter of the Decade.

The “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Starting Over” singer reached a feat that most country singers have only dreamed of. His 2015 smash hit album Traveller reached #1 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified four-times platinum. Stapleton was recently honored with a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Chris Stapleton’s start in music was a traditional one for country musicians. He moved to Nashville in 2001 and wrote hit songs like Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” However, before he broke out in 2015 as a solo artist, Stapleton belonged to several groups.

As Chris Stapleton’s reputation as a songwriter for other artists grew, he took the time to start carving out his own musical path. In 2007, he became the frontman of the bluegrass group the SteelDrivers. Both of their records peaked at the #2 position on the bluegrass chart before Stapleton left the group in 2010. Then, he founded a southern rock group called the Jompson Brothers. His group even opened up for Zac Brown Band before Stapleton signed to Mercury Nashville as a solo artist.

Once he released his breakout album Traveller in 2015, the rest was history. The album easily became the best-selling country music album of the year and launched his prolific solo career.