ACM Awards / Award Shows / Chris Stapleton

Academy of Country Music Announces Chris Stapleton as the First-Ever Recipient of the ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award

Chris Stapleton
Photo Credit: Terry Wyatt/Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music

The Academy of Country Music has announced the ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award recipient Chris Stapleton, who was awarded in a surprise presentation recently at the Berry Hill Studios in Nashville TN. Stapleton joins as the third recipient of the seven all-new ACM Decade Award categories, including most recently announced ACM Songwriter of the Decade Award recipient Rhett Akins and ACM Song of the Decade Award recipients Miranda Lambert, and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, for “The House That Built Me.” 

The ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award is defined as an artist who has commercially released material, written in whole or in part by the artist. This award recognizes a songwriter whose creative works and performance have impacted country music over the decade. The factors to be considered are, but are not limited to success at radio, commercial media, sales and streaming, artistic merit and ACM Award recognition. A Kentucky native, Stapleton made his move to Nashville, TN in 2001 to pursue a career as a songwriter. In the years since, he has penned over 170 album cuts with seven No. 1 songs, including 2017’s “Broken Halos.” Following his quadruple platinum breakthrough solo debut album Traveller (2015), Stapleton released two No. 1 albums in 2017: From A Room: Volume 1 (certified Platinum) and From A Room: Volume 2 (certified Gold). Most recently, Stapleton recorded the Randy Newman-penned song, “Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy,” for the Toy Story 4 soundtrack and has collaborated on songs with P!nk, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Sheryl Crow. 

Stapleton received his first-ever ACM Award nomination in 2014, and in 2015 was nominated for seven ACM Awards, taking home a total of six wins during the 51st ACM Awards. In 2017, Stapleton received three ACM Awards, including Album of the Year. ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award marks a total of ten ACM Awards for Stapleton.

“Had Chris Stapleton not been an artist, his impact on country music as a songwriter would be indelible,” says Kelly Rich, ACM Special Awards Committee Co-Chair. “Had he not been a songwriter for himself and others, his influence as a recording artist, performer and vocalist would have been just as undeniable. In combination, however, Chris epitomizes the spirit and intent of this award. We are thrilled to recognize both aspects of his contribution to country music over the last decade.”

The ACM Decade Awards were ratified by the ACM Board of Directors, following a stringent examination by more than 20 Board members and the ACM Special Awards Committee co-chaired by Chuck Aly and Kelly Rich – from the full spectrum of creative and commercial aspects of the genre – of the most influential projects over the past decade of country music. Like the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade honor recognizing Jason Aldean in April, these awards will be presented only every ten years. Recipients of the remaining categories – including ACM Album of the Decade Award, ACM Breakout Artist of the Decade Award, ACM Single of the Decade Award and ACM Music Event of the Decade – will be announced in the coming weeks. 

As previously announced during the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award was presented to Jason Aldean.  The 14-time ACM Award® winner has dominated country music over the decade, through success at radio, digital media, sales and streaming, distinguishing events, touring, television appearances, and artistic merit. He joins only five other honorees that have received the Artist of the Decade Award, which include Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988, Garth Brooks in 1998 and George Strait in 2008. This Award was renamed the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award after Clark passed away in 2012, in recognition of his many years as the ACM Awards producer and early host.

For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events, visit You can like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards and Instagram @ACMAwards for more immediate updates

Photo L-R: Clay Hunt; Red Light Management; Kelly Rich, ACM Special Awards Committee Co-Chair; Chris Stapleton; Zach Peters, Red Light Management; Chuck Aly, ACM Vice President and Special Awards Committee Co-Chair

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