- Chris Stapleton and Morgane Hayes met as songwriters in 2003 and married in 2007.
- Now Morgane Stapleton, Chris's wife sings backup and is a major influence on his music.
- They have four children—two around the ages of 6 and 8 and two newborns.
- Morgane just had twin baby boys, which host Reba McEntire announced at the 2018 ACM Awards after Chris won Album of the Year.
Chris Stapleton may have landed on everyone's country music radar thanks to a duet with Justin Timberlake at the CMA Awards in 2015, but his ultimate duet partner will always be his wife, Morgane Stapleton. The singer-songwriters met in 2003, and their wedding followed four years later in 2007.
Since then, the Stapletons have created beautiful music together (Chris is nominated for multiple Academy of Country MusicAwards this year, including )—as well as a family. Chris (39) and Morgane (age unknown) share a boy and a girl (ages six and eight) and twin baby boys, whose names have been kept private.
"We're married so we hold each other accountable," Chris told last year. "We can lift each other up on bad nights, kind of give each other a wink when we screw up or do something funny."
Read on for their love story. It's one for the ages, even Johnny and June.
When Chris Met Morgane
Chris was working at a Nashville publishing house in 2003 when he caught the eye of Morgane Hayes, a fellow writer and artist at a neighboring publishing house. Morgane had a friend who worked with Chris and she would hang out in the office hoping for a chance run-in with the studly songwriter. "We'd hear the jingle of his keys as he walked down the hall, and we knew he was coming to play us whatever new song he had written," Morgane told the .
"She was a stalker," Chris joked in an interview with .
When he finally asked her to get together for a songwriting session—at 6 p.m. on a Friday—it ended up being the couple's first date. "We didn't get much writing done that night," Morgane said.
Chris and Morgane's Wedding
The pair married in 2007; before the wedding, Chris had the words "You Are My Sunshine," secretly etched into his ring. "That's our story," Chris told . He and Morgane often perform together on stage.
Making Music (and Babies)
Chris served as the frontman of bluegrass band The SteelDrivers until 2010, when he left seeking a shift in his career. He and Morgane had had their first child by that point: "I missed my kid and I missed my wife, and I was getting an idea of what it was like to be a touring musician," he told .
Commercial success seemed inevitable after Chris released his first single—"What Are You Listening To," in 2013, which made it to the Top 50 that summer—but then, tragedy struck: Chris's father passed away. Around the same time, the single started dropping on the charts. Responding to her husband's grief, Morgane suggested a cross-country road trip to help him clear his head and cope with the sadness.
She bought a 1979 Jeep Cherokee online and the couple flew to Phoenix with the plan to drive it back home to Nashville. They knew the car was a clunker, liable to break down on the highway, but the couple accepted the challenge with a sense of humor. "We looked at each other like, 'Yeah, we're finally doing this,' and then gas started spewing everywhere," Morgane told the . "We called the seller and he said, 'Oh, you can't fill [the tank] all the way.'"
The road trip filled Chris's creative tank—he began work on his first solo album, Traveller, shortly after. Morgane, who's always been in all of her husband's musical talent, handpicked the majority of the album's songs from the prolific writer's library of published tunes. Chris wrote one of Morgane's favorite tracks, "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore," about a father questioning his faith, while waiting for her to get ready to go out.
"This is the most emotional, saddest country song I've ever heard, and you just spit it out in 10 minutes," an incredulous Morgane told the Washington Post.
Awards (and More Babies)
The Stapletons' hard work paid off at the 2016 ACM Awards, when Chris took home four awards, for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, New Male Vocalist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.
That year, he also picked up two Grammys, and in 2018, he earned three more. At the 2018 ACM Awards, Chris will vie for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (From A Room Vol. 1), Single Record of the Year ("Broken Halos"), and Song of the Year ("Whiskey and You").
The couple continue to write and perform together, and just had twins. We can't wait to see (or better yet, hear) what the lovebirds collaborate on next.