TRAVIS TRITT Stapleton may have started his career in a cover band, but it was for no ordinary star—he chose a country icon with lots of soul. Born in 1963, by the time he was twenty-five, TravisTritt, had already released more than seven albums onWarner Brothers. His sound is decidedly country, but he was deeply influenced by soul and gospel music. Tritt had been singing since childhood, but after visiting anAfricanAmerican church, he started to add “a little more soul” in his voice. He was inspired by how the choir singers put “all these bends and sweeps and curls” in their voices and began emulating that sound. Tritt kept his style rugged and blended rock guitar with his soulful vocals. That and his wild stage show gave him a reputation as “outlaw country.”Tritt had five No. 1 hits and more than 10 top-ten singles over his career and is still touring today. For Stapleton, Tritt’s blend of genres attracted him to play Tritt’s music. The influence fromTritt’s sound can be heard in Stapleton’s own vocals—and also seen in Stapleton’s edgy personal style.


“I always thought that when George Strait was singing a song, he made it up, and that was the end of it. But the instant I found out that (songwriting) could be a job, I thought, ‘That’s the job for me.’ ”

The more he played music, the more Stapleton felt he had something special. Then he discovered the profession he had been destined for— songwriting.


a star is born

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