– As we made “Traveller,” he’s like, “You know, I think that Justin would do something to help us at some point,” I said, “Well, let’s figure that out.” I said, “You know what would be awesome, is if we could get enough nominations to be on the CMAs.” And so then we started working towards, how do I get all of the
champions of Chris Stapleton that know that he is the
best singer in this town, because they all knew. You could go out to every bus camp, they’re all playing Chris Stapleton. They all talk about him, no one else in the world knew him, though. And so, we played to that. We played to this town of really helping to change and champion artists that belong. So, he got nominations, and I think that shocked a lot of people. One of which was Robert Deaton, who books the show. Robert wasn’t super-interested in having an unknown guy on network TV, all makes sense, right? You know. But then I threw out, “Well, what if we could
get Justin Timberlake?” He was like, “Well, I’ve been trying to
get Justin for five years, and he couldn’t do it.” I said, “I think that
we can pull this off, if he gets enough nominations.” He was like, “Well, let’s just see if you can get, I mean…” (laughs) Again, I’m thinking he’s not thinking we’re gonna get a nomination. He hasn’t heard of this guy, and like, he’s not, you have no songs at radio… And sure enough, we got the nominations, we got massive nominations, much bigger than we
thought we were gonna get, and then we called Justin. Justin said he would do it, and we ended up getting nine minutes, eight and a half minutes, on network TV. And, Sarah, I know you’re in the room so I won’t go on and on about this, but it was one of the
most expensive things that the CMA had put on there. So– – Big band – Yeah, it wasn’t cheap and so we figured it out together. So, that one makes history just for betting on that one. Because, even that financial amount. It probably wouldn’t
have been smart business. But the bet worked out.
– Two years later But I’ll take that bet
– Traveller is still the Any day of the week now.
– number one country album. (mellow country guitar)