By Roxanne Steele

A few months back we had a special breakfast listening party with Brantley Gilbert and some lucky listeners who won passes to be there.  One of Gilbert’s fans brought him some homemade moonshine.  I was thinking to myself, “girl he doesn’t drink anymore!”  She was unaware, which tells me this is a story not everyone knows.

Brantley Gilbert, 32, like so many country stars works hard and plays even harder.  All the drinking, and taking pills caught up with him, destroying his liver and his kidneys.   Pancreatitis landed him in the hospital.

The Tennessean got the story from Gilbert on those first tough days in rehab, and how Keith Urban saved his life.

“I had just been able to get out of bed and get to a shower without having to crawl.”

With those first few days under his belt,  he told his rehab counselors and his manager that he was leaving.  However, he had not been cleared to leave Cumberland Heights.

They asked Gilbert  to wait one more day because there was someone they wanted him to meet.

The next day came and Gilbert ended up in a room with a recovering addict named Keith Urban.

“I remember thinking, these (expletives) are pulling out all the stops,” Gilbert said, shaking his head slowly.

The conversation began with Keith Urban asking Brantley Gilbert to tell him what’s going on.

Gilbert admitted that in his head he was upset thinking: You don’t know me, man.

“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 said.

“It’s a drinking environment.”

Gilbert shared that Urban told him that he had the same fears.  Urban told him that becoming sober made him a better performer and writer. He had more fun sober on stage and overall became a better husband, and a better man without drugs and alcohol.  Amen!

Having that one on one talk with Urban made all the difference for a struggling Gilbert.

“My whole world flipped,” he said. “At that point, I was like, ‘All right.’ ”

Gilbert stayed in rehab for another week before joining Eric Church on tour where his sober journey truly began.

Gilbert said he hasn’t had any alcohol or pain pills for five years now. Way to go Brantley!

Get ready for the new album, “The Devil Don’t Sleep,”  out this Friday.

Read the full interview with The Tennessean.


Let’s take a look back at the crash and song that means so much to Gilbert’s story.

And this is just a favorite BG nation track!


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