Justin Timberlake was a Chris Stapleton fan long before the CMA Awards


On Wednesday night, Chris Stapleton created a huge buzz after not only walking away with all three CMA awards he was nominated for – New Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year – but also after he and Justin Timberlake absolutely killed it with a duet of Justin’s Drink You Away and Stapleton’s own Tennessee Whiskey.

But just how did these two seemingly random people end up performing together during the biggest night in country music?

Turns out Justin’s been a fan as well as a friend for several years.

Back in July, we shared a tweet Justin had sent out in December about Chris.

Stapleton’s new album ‘Traveller’ had been released in May and, being as enamored as we were, we were pretty happy that Justin was talking about him.


But the pair’s friendship goes back to even before Justin’s tweet in December. After the CMA Awards, the SexyBack singer took to Facebook to explain his friendship with the country singer.

Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake – photo via JT’s Facebook

About last night… I’ve been friends with Chris Stapleton and his lovely wife Morgane for a couple of years now, but sometimes you meet people and feel like you’ve known them your whole life. He is one of THE MOST gifted musicians, songwriters, and vocalists I’ve ever met. So stoked to share this moment with him and watch him put the WHOLE WORLD on notice. So happy for brother. Chalk one up for the good guys.

I guess you really never know who is friends in this business.

On a side note, Saving Country Music is reporting that Justin’s people are currently trying to get him some Nashville studio time, so a JT country-esque album sounds like it could possibly be on the way.

Justin Timberlake’s label has been looking to secure the singer blocks of studio time at facilities in Nashville in the coming days and weeks, including the historic Studio ‘A’ where Chris Stapleton recorded his now CMA-winning Album of the Year Traveller produced by Dave Cobb. It’s also not out of the question that Timberlake has already been recording in town previously, and working with Nashville songwriters.

So who knows, maybe Justin and Chris will turn their friendship/magical duet prowess into some great music in the very near future.