(ABC NEWS) — Chris Stapleton was the star of last night’s CMA Awards, putting on a show-stopping performance with Justin Timberlake and taking home all three awards for which he was nominated.
“It’s surreal. Very unbelievable,” he told reporters backstage. “I don’t have enough adjectives to get there, but it’s a wonderful feeling. I feel very loved. It’s a short answer, but it’s a real one.”
Stapleton, 37, has been a Nashville mainstay for years, writing music for singers including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. He didn’t release a solo album until earlier this year, and he isn’t quite sure what to make of all the newfound attention.
“I have no idea [what’s next],” he said. “I’ve been in the music business for awhile but I’ve never done anything like this. It’s a little overwhelming but I’m gonna do my best to handle this with some degree of grace and just keep making music that, hopefully, I think is good and whatever comes out of that, that’ll be fine by me.”