On Sunday, Simpson posted a photo of a Certificate of Appreciation from the United Mine Workers of America to his Instagram account. Entertainment group AEG Live made a donation to the organization to “honor two sold out shows at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel.” The gift had special meaning for Simpson, whose grandfather worked as a coal miner for years back in his home state of Kentucky.
Earlier this year, fellow Kentucky native Chris Stapleton also donated to the organization, which represents coal miners, health care workers, manufacturing employees and many others across North America. Stapleton’s father, who passed away in 2013, was also a coal miner.
The 37-year-old has referenced his father as a huge inspiration on his music over the years. His father purchased a Gibson acoustic guitar with the hopes of one day becoming a player. His work kept him too busy to pick up the guitar, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. After Chris found it hidden in their family home, he began working on the skill that would eventually lead him to his incredible performance during this year’s CMA Awards.
Although many country musicians donate to charities and causes of their choice, these gifts by Stapleton and Simpson stand out. These contributions once again display their individual authenticity not only as artists, but as everyday people who haven’t forgotten where they came from.