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Country music star Chris Stapleton on new album, massive success

This piece originally aired May 11, 2017. 

Chris Stapleton's debut album, "Traveller" sold two million copies and was only outsold last year by albums from superstars Adele, Drake and Beyoncé. 

Now, the country music star is on a nationwide tour to promote his sophomore album, "From a Room: Volume 1." Stapleton spoke with CBS News' Anthony Mason why about the high expectations for his follow-up album

Chris Stapleton: "I just try to do things I want to listen to" 03:28

To make his new record, Stapleton returned to RCA Studio A in Nashville, where legends like Elvis and Dolly Parton recorded. 

"Well, I just love it here," he said of the historic studio. "I like places that have history in the sense of — you feel responsible to it."

Stapleton also has to live up to his own success. It was here in Studio A that he recorded "Traveller," the record that literally changed his life.

"Oh, it's lightning-in-a-bottle stuff," Stapleton said of the album.

"Traveller" was the best-selling country album of 2016 and earned him two Grammys along with a pile of Academy of Country Music awards.

Some of them are now on display at a new exhibit at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Seeing his section of the exhibit for the first time, he said, "It's just really weird, man."

"Things like this matter a whole lot," Stapleton said. "It's validating in a lot of ways … to be in here with people that you respect."

Chris Stapleton poses in the press room with the awards for album of the year for "Traveller", new male vocalist of the year, male vocalist of the year and song of the year for "Nobody to Blame", at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Jordan Strauss

The son of a Kentucky coal miner, Stapleton moved to Nashville in 2001.

"What were you hoping for?" Mason asked.

Country singer Chris Stapleton on songwriting for other artists 00:53

"Well the instant I found out somebody would pay you to sit in a room and write songs and play guitar all day, I thought, well, man, that's the job for me. I'm gonna figure out how to do that," Stapleton said.

And he did. More than 150 of his songs have been recorded by other artists, including Adele, George Strait and Tim McGraw.

For years, Stapleton would write day and night.

"Because I just loved it so much. And I love it that much still. I just don't do it as much," he said.  

What does he love about it?

"Pluckin' somethin' outta the air. Waitin' on somethin' to be there that wasn't, you know," Stapleton said.   

It wasn't until the release of "Traveller" in 2015 that Stapleton went out on his own. But not exactly solo — his wife Morgane Stapleton sings harmony with him.

"Well, she's my partner in life and in business, and on stage, in every possible way, shape and form," Stapleton said of his wife. "She believes in me more than I do a lot of times."

They met working at adjacent publishing houses in Nashville. One Friday evening, he asked her over to "co-write."

Stapleton admitted they didn't write any songs that night. They did, however, write a whole new story.

"From a Room: Volume 1" Universal Music Group

The success of "Traveller" has lifted the 39-year-old Stapleton onto a much bigger stage.  

"We're still adjusting as far as touring goes. Like, I remember the first time I had somebody like, tune a guitar for me. That, that was a moment. I was like, 'man, this is the greatest thing on earth,'" Stapleton said. "It's one of the best feelings ever."

The singer who started out playing bars is now playing arenas and amphitheaters, but still trying to make them feel intimate.

"I just stand there and play. And we set up basically just like we've always set up in a club."

Stapleton hopes that he's pulling the audience in, but isn't sure he could do much more. He said, "I don't know that I'm entertaining in any other way, you know."

Stapleton says his recording sessions were so fruitful they had enough songs for two records.

So, "From a Room: Volume 2" will come out later this year.

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