When it comes to the modern day musical legends, Chris Stapleton's named is already etched in stone and printed in the country music history books.
Throughout his career, apart from his long and illustrious list of honors and achievements, the songwriter-turned-artist has earned the ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year (2016), ACM Male Vocalist of the Year (2018) and the ACM Entertainer of the Year, which he took home at this 2023 ACM Awards ceremony.
Because of this specific list of achievements, Stapleton became eligible for one of the most coveted awards in country music: the ACM Triple Crown, which he finally took home at the 16th Annual ACM Honors at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Joining an esteemed group of only 10 other artists, including Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Brooks & Dunn, Mickey Gilley and Merle Haggard, the Kentucky crooner has officially taken his rightful place among some of country music's biggest and brightest icons.
As one of the format's most versatile, boundary-pushing entertainers, Stapleton's genre-breaking and limitless artistry has already made a tangible impact on country music and beyond that will undoubtedly be celebrated for years and lifetimes to come.
To honor the Kentucky crooner's soulful music, powerhouse duo The War and Treaty treated the Mother Church of Country Music to their chilling version of his Grammy award-winning wailer, 'Cold.'
Ahead of the show, the duo's Tanya Totter shared their experience first meeting the award-winning entertainer, as well as serving as support on his expansive All American Road Show tour. "We just got off tour with Chris Stapleton, so we are so excited [to be here]. Michael kind of manifested this whole thing. We've been talking about it for a year straight."
"Tonight, to be able to honor him and sing one of his hit song, 'Cold,' is going to feel great," Michael added.
After earning a massive standing ovation from the ACM Honors crowd, the husband and wife pair took a moment to give their thanks and congratulations to Stapleton.
"We've gotten to know Chris and Morgane, and they've really welcomed both of us into their world," noted husband Michael Trotter Jr. "We're proud to bring our music to your All American Road Show. Thank you, Chris."
As if the moment could handle any more talent oozing from it, country and bluegrass icon Marty Stuart took center stage to pay further tribute to the 'Tennessee Whiskey' hitmaker.
"Every now and then, somebody comes through that levels all the walls and moves us forward," Stuart shared in reference to Stapleton's impact on the genre. "The thing that I love about Chris is he does it from the heart.
"His sound that's so unique and so ahead of the curve that it's no surprise that he's winning this award tonight. His fanbase stretches across all genres," he added. "It's so evident, Chris, that your fans and all artists alike appreciate your remarkable musicianship."
Taking the stage to accept his much-deserved award, Holler's favorite bearded wonder shared, "I'm so grateful to everybody that has supported me over the years."
Offering his thanks to his wife, children, label and full artist team, he added: "It's a wonderful and rare thing to get to do something that you love so much... I have my heros handing me awards and new friends that I admire so much singing songs that I had a hand in writing and performing. It's just unbelievable that I continue to get to do this. I'm so grateful to all the fans and people that come to the shows."
Stapleton humbly summed, "Thank you, everybody. I really appreciate it."
The full broadcast from the 16th Annual ACM Honors will be aired on Monday, September 18 on Fox, and available to stream next day on Hulu. For a complete list of honorees and performers, head here.
For more on the 2023 ACM Honors, see below: