Morgane Stapleton

About Morgane Stapleton

Morgane Stapleton is best known as a backing vocalist and on-stage foil for her husband, country music star Chris Stapleton, but she's also a gifted songwriter who has worked with a number of the most respected artists in Nashville. She was born Morgane Hayes in Nashville, Tennessee and in time became involved in the city's biggest industry, making music. Morgane began working in the business in 1992, when Curtis Wright recorded her tune "I Will Someday." She continued writing songs and playing occasional gigs; initially, Morgane performed as a duo with her sister, but she was deeply uncomfortable being the center of the audience's attention, and she redirected her energies on working behind the scenes. Morgane earned steady work singing on demo recordings for $60 a song (she later discovered $125 was actually the going rate), and landed a gig singing backup in Lee Ann Womack's road band. By 2003, Morgane had signed a songwriting deal with Sea Gayle Music, a well-respected Nashville publishing house, and struck a record deal with Arista Nashville Records. She recorded nearly three albums' worth of material for the label, but none of it saw official release, and still wary of the spotlight, she asked to be released from her contract. That same year, Morgane met Chris Stapleton, then a fellow tunesmith signed with Sea Gayle, and the two became fast friends; the couple would later admit that their first date was meant to be a songwriting session, but they were too infatuated with one another to get any work done. In 2005, Morgane enjoyed a career breakthrough when Carrie Underwood recorded her song "Don't Forget to Remember Me," and also brought her in to sing backup on the sessions. Underwood's take on the song became a sizable hit, and before long Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes, Claire Lynch, and Kellie Pickler had all cut songs co-written by Morgane, some written in tandem with Chris Stapleton. In 2007, Morgane and Chris were married, and she took the name Morgane Stapleton. Morgane became Chris' partner in life and music, writing songs with him, helping him sort his best songs from his lesser works, and singing with him on-stage after coming to terms with her stage fright. Following stints in the groups the SteelDrivers and the Jompson Brothers fizzled out, Chris went solo, and Morgane helped him select the material for his first solo album, as well as contributing backing vocals. Chris's debut, The Traveller, became a major commercial and critical success, and in his concerts, a frequent highlight was Chris and Morgane's spectral, emotionally intense reworking of the country standard "You Are My Sunshine." Producer Dave Cobb, who had overseen the recording of The Traveller, persuaded the Stapletons to record "You Are My Sunshine" for a 2016 compilation coordinated by Cobb, Southern Family. That same year, Morgane cut a duet with John Prine on the song "Look at Us," which appeared on Prine's album For Better, Or Worse. 2017 saw Morgane and Chris singing together on tribute albums honoring Waylon Jennings and Don Williams, and she would also contribute her signature vocals to her husband's second solo album, From a Room: Vol. 1. ~ Mark Deming