No one is more surprised that Brantley Gilbert is happily a married father than Brantley Gilbert is. The “Bottoms Up” story was a pretty unlikely candidate to embrace that kind of commitment and domesticity. And it probably isn’t for the reasons that you think it is. It all has to do with a promise he broke to himself. And how, thanks to Amber Cochran, it ended up making him a very happy man.
Five Years Apart
Brantley Gilbert married his wife Amber Cochran in 2015. It was an unlikely marriage for several reasons. Both are Georgia natives and they were hometown sweethearts. But Gilbert’s struggles with addiction created a rift. So for five long years, the couple didn’t see each other.
Gilbert went to rehab in 2011. Since then, he’s been clean and sober. But he didn’t immediately get back together with Amber. He dated country artist Jana Kramer for a time. In fact, the two were even engaged. But in 2014, that engagement amicably ended. Gilbert discussed that there were no hard feelings between the two.
Getting Past Jana Kramer
“I’ll be completely honest with you. That little girl’s wonderful,” Gilbert said of Kramer. “I love her to death. I care about her. She’s going to make somebody a wonderful, wonderful wife, and a wonderful, wonderful mother. But between she and I, the situation does exist where it just didn’t work. And that’s the case. Some things happened and it didn’t work out. But we still talk. I think the world of her. She’s one of the most genuine people I know. And that’s the honest to God truth. I think the world of that little girl.”
And so Gilbert was on his own. But his cousin knew that BG still had feelings for his old flame. So he arranged a meeting with Amber. And prior to that meeting, Gilbert told himself that it was just to be friends. He made a promise to himself that he was single and staying that way.
In an interview with QCOnline, he recalled his reunion with Amber Cochran. “I was sitting in that driveway going through in my head, ‘All right, single for life. No matter what she says or looks like or does, single for life, single for life, and she walked around the corner and all of that went out the window. It was just, it was like we picked up where we left off without all of the bad stuff.”
Gilbert admits that breaking the promise made him very happy. He married Amber shortly after. Taste of Country reported on Gilbert’s Bobby Bones show interview in which Gilbert shared his delight. “You’ll hear [Amber] in most of my songs. She was the one who got away for about five years,” Gilbert said. “I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.”
It seems to be true. The singer “cried like a baby” at his wedding. “She’s got a piece of my heart that nobody’s ever touched before,” he added. Of course, the two recently became parents to a young son, so it seems that breaking that promise to himself is the best thing he ever did.