Brantley Gilbert on His Sobriety: 'I'm Proud of My Story'

Brantley Gilbert isn't ashamed of his past struggles, because he knows that it's the good and the bad that led him to where he is today. The married father of one, who got sober in 2011, says he is happy to talk about his addiction, if only to help others.

"I think you meet people in life who are maybe aren't ashamed, but just uncomfortable sharing their story," says Gilbert. "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.

"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."

Gilbert admits his drinking became more of a struggle after the release of his freshman Modern Day Prodigal Son album in 2009. In 2011, Gilbert found himself in a treatment center in Nashville, aware that the alcohol and drugs he was taking were slowly killing him, but unwilling, or unable, to stop. And he may have left rehab, if not for a visit with recovered addict Keith Urban, who helped Gilbert accept sobriety.

"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 Nashville's Tennessean.

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"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."

Still, while Gilbert isn't afraid to tell his story, his latest single, "The Ones That Like Me," with lines like, "The ones that need me got me / The ones that doubt me can't stop me / Even the ones that said forget him / You can bet they ain't forgot me," hint at the resolve that still lies inside the 33-year-old. The song is from his 2017 The Devil Don't Sleep album, which is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.