If you love music, you've gone through those times where you hear someone sing and can't shake them. You listen to them over and over and over; you melt at the sound of their voice; you have to see them live.
My latest obsession: Chris Stapleton. Ever since his amazing performance of "Tennessee Whiskey" and "Drink You Away" at the CMAs last year with Justin Timberlake, I have been audio stalking him. (ION: Stapleton is the first country artist to win Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the same awards.)
Yup, I said "country artist." Anyone who knows me knows I generally don't "like" country music. Never have. But that's the thing: once you open your mind and your ears, you realize that if you love music, you can love any genre if the right voice or lyrics or beat sinks into your consciousness and won't leave. That's how I feel about Chris.
Here's a quick playlist of some of my favorite Chris Stapleton songs, from his time in The Steeldrivers and The Jompson Brothers, to his newest record "Traveller," that highlight his deep, gravelly voice and emotional lyrics.
As an added bonus, here's Chris in action. This first video is his performance for NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert Series:
And of course the performance that rocked everyone's worlds: JT and Chris at the 2015 Country Music Awards.
Someone in the comments of this video wrote "I will never get over this performance. Perfection."
I feel the exact same way.