Chris Stapleton’s Work on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Man of the Woods’ Extends Beyond ‘Say Something’
In advance of his upcoming album Man of the Woods, Justin Timberlake released the expansive, Americana-tinged single "Say Something," a collaboration with Chris Stapleton. Stapleton's involvement in Man of the Woods doesn't stop with the single, though: Backstage at the 60th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, the "Broken Halos" singer told Billboard he will also have a hand in a few other of the album's tracks.
In addition to "Say Something," Stapleton wrote two tracks on Man of the Woods: "Morning Light," a duet with Alicia Keys, and "The Hard Stuff." He also appears in the guitar lines of another song, "Filthy."
"I play guitar on the very first sound you hear on 'Filthy,'" Stapleton says. "That's me playing with a delay pedal on a jazz master."
The singer, who picked up all three of the awards he was nominated for at the award ceremony that weekend (Best Country Solo Performance for "Either Way," Best Country Song for "Broken Halos" and Best Country Album for From A Room: Volume 1), also says that he hadn't originally planned to sing on "Say Something."
"I really just went out to Los Angeles to write songs with him," Stapleton explains. "That was one of those things where there wasn't necessarily a plan. He was like, 'Alright, you hop in there and take a verse.' I'm like, 'You want me to do what?' ... It came out great. I had a blast with him, he's a great creative force and one of those guys that if you get a chance to work with him, you should."
His performance on "Say Something" wasn't the first time Stapleton has collaborated with Timberlake: The duo appeared together onstage at the 2015 CMA Awards for a roundhouse performance of "Tennessee Whiskey," which Stapleton had recently released as a single, and Timberlake's "Drink You Away." At the time, the pairing seemed unlikely: In 2015, Timberlake had just begun dipping his toes into crossover country songs with the release of the single "Drink You Away" to country radio. Stapleton, for his part, was still a relatively new artist, who had just released his debut album Traveller earlier that year and won the award for Best New Artist that evening. Even then, however, the pair's performance brought the house down.
Man of the Woods is due out on Feb. 2 and will feature the Neptunes, Timbaland and Alicia Keys in addition to Stapleton.
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