It if weren't for Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert might not even be here. Gilbert, by his own admission, was heading down a dangerous path –– one he wanted to get off but wasn't sure how to escape –– until Urban paid him a visit, while Gilbert was in rehab, that changed the course of Gilbert's life.
"I will say that Keith Urban became a friend of mine in a time when I was making a transition in life," Gilbert shared with his record label. "I honestly don't know if I'd be sitting in this room if it weren't for that man, and him taking time out of his life to come talk to me. It was a time when I'd stopped drinking and stopped doing some other things, and was just kind of unsure about moving forward, and he, again, took time out of his life and talked to me, and I'll never forget that as long as I live. So that just wasn't in music, it was in life."
Urban visited Gilbert while the "Fire't Up" singer was still in rehab, unsure what his future would look like without drinking.
"I told him, 'I don't think I can do my job. I don't know if I can ever play a song at my shows without being (messed) up.' Or writing, I was worried my songs wouldn't be the same, that I wouldn't be on everyone else's level," Gilbert told The Tennessean.
"If it weren't for him, I don't know if I'd be sober or be in this business anymore," he added. "I'd probably be dead."
Gilbert hasn't hidden his struggle with alcoholism, or that he fought long and hard to get where he is now, and hopes he can inspire others to do the same, much as Urban did with him.
"I think you meet people in life who are maybe aren't ashamed, but just uncomfortable sharing their story," Gilbert acknowledged. "I'm not that guy. I'm the kind of guy that says, 'What you see is what you get.' But also I feel like my story is interesting but it's an important story for me to share.0comments
"My past is something that made me who I am and I know that's an old worn out cliché but it's so true," he continues. "And I'm proud of my story. There was a time when I was a person that I wasn't so proud of. But I made changes and I'm a fighter and I beat it and I beat it every day. And I don't mind sharing that story."
Photo Credit: Getty / Terry Wyatt