Chris Stapleton swept the 2016  ACM Awards on Sunday (April 3) when he went home with six trophies. Before he walked away the most awarded artist of the night, though, he was the most-fought-over artist when featured in Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan's monologue.

At the show's start, Bentley and Bryan were debating who "discovered" Stapleton. As the two hosts argued, audience members including Charles Kelley, Thomas Rhett and Jason Aldean stepped up to take credit for Stapleton's success. In an interview, Stapleton admits that he had no idea he'd be singled out at the awards show.

“You know, it’s a strange thing and it’s a wonderful gift and I’m grateful for it," he says. "It was a pretty funny monologue. As soon as it started I thought, 'This is gonna go on and on.' I thought it might have carried on throughout the night and I was a little worried about that, 'cause it could have gotten darker and darker, but it didn’t, so were good."

So who gets credit for Stapleton's rise to fame?

"Everybody. Everybody but me," he says, laughing.

Barry Bales, who's a member of Alison Krauss and Union Station and co-wrote "Nobody to Blame" with Stapleton, continues the praises for the singer.

“As everybody has said, he’s so deserving,” Bales tells Taste of Country. “Chris was one of those guys that I heard so much about how good he was that before I ever met him, I hated him. It’s like, ‘Enough about Chris Stapleton already!’ But then you hear him and you just can’t describe it. It’s a hundred times better than anybody ever alluded to, and then on top of that, he’s an incredibly nice and humble guy. So you can’t help but really be fond of him.”

Stapleton's wins at the ACM Awards included Album of the Year for Traveller as both artist and producer, Song of the Year for “Nobody to Blame” as both artist and songwriter, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Male Vocalist of the Year. His six wins has Stapleton tying the record for most ACM Awards won in a single year with Garth Brooks and Faith Hill, who have both previously won six awards in the same year.

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