Brantley Gilbert Is Feeling Free Onstage

He Opens Up About Keith Urban's Hospital Visit

Brantley Gilbert’s been sober for three years. At the recent Billboard Touring Conference, he revealed the epiphany that led to his decision to stop drinking.

He said it felt like God was letting him do a lot of awesome things, but he wasn’t enjoying it, according to Billboard.

“I told (my manager) that success wasn’t punching me in the chest like it should be,” Gilbert said.

When he finally decided to make a change for the better, Keith Urban offered his support. He paid Gilbert a visit in the hospital and warned him about the rough road ahead and that he’d have to become a whole new performer. Urban himself has been sober for eight years after a successful stay at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, California, in 2006.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do my job because I had always had a little bit of a buzz on,” he said. “Keith told me I was going to be all right.”

And all right he is. Gilbert counts on his nightly shows to be his daily workout routine. From the looks of things, that workout routine is really working out.

“Being onstage and on a motorcycle are two of the only places I feel comfortable and free,” Gilbert said. “Those are my happy places.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.