Brantley Gilbert Shares How Keith Urban Saved His Life After Meeting Him in Rehab

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Brantley Gilbert is 5 years sober and recently opened up to The Tennessean about the painful process of reclaiming his life from drugs and alcohol.


After being in a rehabilitation facility for a few days, Gilbert was done and ready to leave. After being convinced to stick it out for one more day, Gilbert was introduced to Keith Urban.

Gilbert ended up in rehab after he scored back-to-back No. 1 hits with “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” Those hits also came with Pancreatitis, which put him in the hospital, which brought him to rehab.

A week later, he was face to face with Urban and annoyed.

Still, Gilbert opened up when Urban asked him what his fears were about being a music star who doesn’t drink.

“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 said Urban told him he once had the same fears and, in fact, Urban was really scared when he first started playing shows sober.

Eventually, though, Urban told him he was a better performer, a better writer, he had more fun, he was a better husband and a better man without drugs and alcohol.

Gilbert went on to tell the newspaper that without Urban he doesn’t know if he’d be sober or even in the country music business without his help, “I’m more comfortable in my own skin, and before, I needed a drink to get there. Now, it’s like, I am what I am, so let’s have a damn good time!”

Gilbert’s album, The Devil Don’t Sleep, is due out on January 27 and Gilbert says, “Contrary to the title, this is actually the most positive record as a whole that I’ve ever released. The title track it’s all about being conscious that…. Temptation is always around the corner and it’s all about just staying on your toes and being ready.”