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Craig Morgan Opens Up About Losing His Son In Upcoming Memoir

Craig Morgan: "I would give every bit of stardom back, everything I own, both legs and both arms to have Jerry here."

Country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan is gearing up to release his highly anticipated memoir, "God, Family, Country." Before the novel hits the shelves on Sept.27, the "Almost Home" singer caught up with PEOPLE to discuss the untold stories he penned within the paperback and to provide exclusive excerpts. 

Morgan worked alongside the well-respected writer behind "American Sniper" to cultivate the vulnerable and raw page-turner that details his time in the U.S. Military, relationship with the Lord, rise to fame in country music, and more. Morgan also reflected on the day when he found out that his 19-year-old son was tragically killed in a water accident. 

Morgan and his wife Karen are parents to four children, their son Jerry was the second oldest out of the bunch. The teenager was tubing with friends at Kentucky Lake in 2016 when he lost his life. 

The award-winning artist told his readers that he does not know precisely what happened on the lake that day, but he would exchange his fame and fortune to have his child back. 

"I would give every bit of stardom back, everything I own, both legs and both arms to have Jerry here," wrote the grieving father. "But that ain't the way it works." 

He explained that the weekend Jerry drowned started well. At the time, Jerry was a college freshman attending Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Morgan's son moved in early for football camp, but decided to surprise his mother with an unexpected visit. Jerry knocked on the door at 6 AM, in cahoots with his father. 

"I went to answer it, knowing who it was," Morgan said in the excerpt. "Who's here at six in the morning?" Karen asked. "She was indigent. Jerry had the fun of his surprise, stepping in and hugging his mom. He let her know how special she was to him, a thing he had a knack for." 

Morgan brought Jerry to the Grand Ole Opry that evening, where he was slated to perform. During the hour-long car ride to Nashville, the father-son duo talked and teased each other. Little did Morgan know that would be some of his last moments with his boy. Following the show at the venue, Morgan gave his son a warm embrace before hitting the road for another gig. 

"I hugged him and kissed him, told him I loved him, and left," the platinum-selling perform recalled. "Sunday I was back home and at our pool, enjoying the sun with Karen. Jerry was tubing with friends on Kentucky Lake. He and I texted back and forth; I didn't want him to go back to school without spending more time with us." 

Before the freak accident, he assured his father that he would be home shortly for quality time. 

"We're just about to get out of the water," Jerry responded to his father's text. 

Morgan continued to go into the heart-wrenching details about the unimaginable situation. He declared that his superstar status managed to make the search for his son's body difficult for law enforcement. The country crooner fled the scene to make matters more accessible and did not return until Jerry was recovered. The sheriff sent an ambulance to the opposite side of the lake to serve as a decoy. 

The resilient father walked readers through what it was like to say his last goodbye and persevere through heartbreak. He went into detail about his grieving journey and the business ventures that became "therapeutic" for him and his family. The singer-songwriter also talked about the writing and recording process of his 2019 tribute track "The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost."

To learn more about Morgan's story, country music fans can pick up their own copy on Sept. 27. In partnership with Blackstone Publishing, Morgan will embark on a six-city in-person national book tour in late September. Find details on how to attend, here.  

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