While the greater country music community got clued in to who Chris Stapleton was following his performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards, he had been Nashville’s secret weapon for years. As a songwriter, Stapleton penned some of the biggest hits of the past decade, including Josh Turner‘s “Your Man” and Kenny Chesney‘s “Never Wanted More.” As a singer, he was one of the most sought-after backing vocalists out there.
Now that Stapleton’s voice is one of the most recognizable in all of country music, people have started picking him out in other artists’ songs. One of his most well-known contributions as a backing vocalist was on Luke Bryan‘s “Drink a Beer,” which he also co-wrote.
In fact, Stapleton has contributed backing vocals on three of Lambert’s studio albums: 2009’s Revolution, 2011’s Four the Record, and 2014’s Platinum. On Revolution, his contribution was on the track “Time to Get a Gun,” and for Four the Record, his vocals are showcased on “Nobody’s Fool,” which he also wrote.
As for his contribution to Platinum, that came in the form of the album’s 15th track, “Hard Staying Sober.” The song features what are perhaps the most obvious vocal additions from Stapleton on any of Lambert’s songs. Anyone can tell that it’s him!
Of course, since most country fans didn’t know of Stapleton at the time, we bet many of you probably never realized that he was the one singing with Lambert on the song.
The two even performed the song live on one occasion. We dug up a video from that performance, which took place back in 2014, just a year before Stapleton’s breakout moment at the CMA Awards.
This fan-filmed video shows Lambert and Stapleton having a good time together as they sang “Hard Staying Sober.” Based on how the crowd reacted, they were having a fun time as well!
Of course, we want y’all to be able to hear Stapleton’s epic vocals on “Hard Staying Sober” without all of the concert noise drowning him out. So go ahead and jump below to catch the studio version of the song. You’ll be rockin’ out to it right away!
We wonder how many other songs Stapleton sang on without us realizing it before?