Chris Stapleton’s New Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit Opens With Legos, Waffle House, Knives & More

by Jim Casey
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Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum always does an incredible job with its exhibits. And the CMHOF’s new exhibit—Chris Stapleton: Since 1978, which opened today—is no exception. Running from July 1, 2022, to May 14, 2023, CMHOF’s new display chronicles Chris’ Kentucky roots, Nashville songwriting success, country music superstardom, and more.

And, yes, there are plenty of “artifacts” you’d expect to see in a CMHOF exhibit, including Chris’ multiple CMA Awards, ACM Awards, and Grammy Awards, as well as concert posters, instruments, and stagewear. However, there are also some really unique relics and heirlooms that Chris’ fans are going to love.

A handful of the exhibit’s standout items include:

  • A LEGO model of Stapleton and his band onstage, elements of which were animated for the LEGO-themed music video for “Second One to Know” in 2019.
  • Waffle House Golden Waffle Award (aka Tunie). It recognized Chris as the most-played artist on the restaurant chain’s jukeboxes in 2019.
  • Chris’ 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard electric guitar, used during the recording of “Traveller” in 2015.
  • More than a dozen knives from Chris’ personal collection, including some really cool Case blades.
Lego model of Stapleton on display at the CMHOF (photo by Amiee Stubbs).

‘Discovering’ Stapleton

Of course, the “1978” in the exhibit title references Chris’ birth year. And while many fans may have “discovered” Chris thanks to the 2015 CMA Awards—and his show-stopping performance with Justin Timberlake—Chris has been a Nashville fixture on the songwriting front for two decades.

Chris’ songwriting credits include Gary Allan’s “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey,” Josh Turner’s “Your Man,” Dierks Bentley’s “Diamonds Make Babies,” Miranda Lambert’s “Nobody’s Fool,” Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer,” Darius Rucker’s “Come Back Song,” Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn,” and many more.

Chris released his No. 1 solo debut album, Traveller, in 2015. Chris followed up with From A Room: Volume 1 and Volume 2, in 2017. His most recent album was 2021’s Starting Over.

“Chris Stapleton is a powerful and emotive singer, a prolific and poetic songwriter and a skilled and expressive guitar player,” said Kyle Young, CEO CMHOF. “His rise as a successful artist may have seemed instantaneous to many. But he has been a force in country music for more than 20 years. Whether writing hit songs for other country artists or contributing to studio recordings. Throughout it all, he has maintained his own unique perspective by staying true to his authentic self and artistic vision. And he continues to open the door to country music for new fans across generations and genres.”

You’ve got more than 10 months to make it to Music City to check out Chris’ new CMHOF exhibit.

Chris Stapleton: Since 1978 exhibit at the CMHOF (photo by Amiee Stubbs).
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