Kentucky-born country singer Chris Stapleton may just be a traveler on this earth, but he evidently wasn't in a rush anywhere Thursday evening after claiming a top country music award.
The 45-year-old "Tennessee Whisky" singer was recognized as entertainer of the year at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards, co-hosted by Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas.
Billboard indicated that the honor comes seven years after Stapleton, son of a coal miner, won new male artist of the year. Stapleton has three ACM male artist of the year awards, another three wins for album of the year, and a songwriter of the decade trophy.
Stapleton, reputed for his humility and "working man's honesty," said in his heartfelt acceptance speech, "By any imaginable metric, I don’t deserve this. There are so many other great people in this category. I get up there and try to play music every night. I write songs and make records, and I never thought of myself as someone who would win this award."
After offering thanks for the various people he reckoned helped make the night possible, including his wife, he singled out his kids: "My kids sitting at home — they give up a lot of my time and a lot of my wife's time so that we can go do this, and this is for them."
Chris Stapleton Wins Entertainer Of The Year | ACM Awards 2023youtu.be
When the night drew to a close, Getty Images photographer John Shearer, still in the Ford Center, glimpsed Stapleton moseying out with his team. The country singer stopped, however, and began helping workers clean up.
Still dressed in his suit and tie, Stapleton put a leaf blower to good use, reportedly clearing the confetti that had rained down earlier during his big moment.
The moment, captured on film by Shearer, later received a nod from friends, fans, and family.
Stapleton shared the image on his Instagram, captioning it with a quote from his peer, 2023 ACM female artist of the year Lainey Wilson, "If you're gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer."
Wilson commented on the photo, writing, "Ain't nobody like ya, man."
Faithwire noted that Wilson had said in her acceptance speech, "Everybody in this category didn’t just wind up here by happenstance; they have worked their fingers to the bone. They have put the blood, sweat, tears, and years and years into this, made so many sacrifices, missing a lot of weddings, a lot of funerals — not that I wanna go to all of them, anyway, but I’m just sayin’."
Wilson added, "Oh my goodness, y’all. For the little girls watching this — this right here — it stands for hard work. If you’re gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer."
Morgane Stapleton, Stapleton's wife and fellow singer, commented on the photo of the post-awards show cleanup, writing, "Love this so much."
The Home Edit account noted that "Chris *literally* cleaned up at the ACMs."
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