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CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 25: Brantley Gilbert performs prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)

Six years ago Brantley Gilbert was in a dark place. Drinking had become an all-too-regular occurrence, not to mention a reliance on prescription pain medication. That’s all behind him these days, however, and he’s thankful for it.

Brantley knew he was on a dark path and getting off it was hard work. “It took losing almost everything,” he says through his record label. “You know, I was a snap away from it being gone. But [I’m] very, very, very, very blessed. I consider it a success story and proud of where I am now and proud of where we are as an organization.”

Brantley’s been sober for quite a while now, of course, and it’s had positive effects on himself and many of those around him. “I feel like when I made the changes I made, it had a trickle-down effect,” he continues. “And I feel like everybody around me, even people who weren’t bad off – there were some things that they could’ve straightened up, and they did. And now, as a whole, it’s a completely different world out there on the road now.”

Today Brantley is happily married and just days ago welcomed his first child, a son named Barrett. A spring tour kicks off February 1st in the Northeast. See a complete list of dates here.

Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.