Chris Stapleton Receives Credit For Ending The “Bro Country” Era

Chris Stapleton is photographed here wearing his sunglasses and guitar during a concert

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HARDY Gives Chris Stapleton Credit For Bringing “Bro Country” To An End

HARDY believes Chris Stapleton is responsible for ending the “bro country” era. He explained why he feels that way during an interview on the Ten Year Town podcast.

Stapleton has been in the country music world far longer than most people realize. Before he released his debut solo album Traveller in 2015, Stapleton was a sought-after songwriter in Nashville.

He penned songs such as Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” George Strait’s “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.”

As a performer, Stapleton experienced his breakout moment during the 2015 CMA Awards. He joined Justin Timberlake to sing a mashup of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away,” and his popularity skyrocketed.

Stapleton also took home three awards at the ceremony that evening.

Since then, Stapleton has earned many more CMA and ACM Awards. He’s also received 10 Grammy Awards out of 20 total nominations.

HARDY Says Chris Brought “A Completely Different Sound” To Country Music

Looking back, HARDY believes that Stapleton’s performance at the 2015 CMA Awards marked the beginning of the end of the “bro country” era.

“Bro country” is a label given to some of the most popular country songs that emerged during the early 2010s. The label is often applied to songs such as Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party.”

“Bro country” songs and their artists were often the subject of criticism. Still, songs in that style remained popular throughout the 2010s.

But things shifted as Stapleton’s star power increased.

The moment to me that it changed was when Chris Stapleton sang on stage with Justin Timberlake… He was the first dude that was popping off and had a completely different sound,” HARDY told Ten Year Town.

HARDY Believes Chris Stapleton Ended “Bro Country” & Made It Possible For “Normal” Guys To Score Hits

HARDY also said, “Bro country was like a professional wrestler era, and every song, every single was their theme song walking out…everybody was fit and good looking, and like, that was your thing.”

He thinks Stapleton made it possible for “normal” guys to score big hits in the industry. Many people give that credit to Luke Combs (when it comes to physical appearance as well as musical style). But HARDY feels like Stapleton was first.

In my opinion, and I love Luke Combs, everybody says it’s Luke [who ended bro country] but I swear to god I think it was Stapleton before Luke,” HARDY said.

HARDY gives Chris Stapleton credit for ending the bro country era.
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He continued:

It immediately broke the mold of what you have to look like. And then two or three years Later Combs came out. And then it just busted wide open with a bunch of normal a– looking dudes.”

You can hear HARDY talk more about how he believes Chris Stapleton brought an end to the “bro country” era by tuning in to the video below.