How Brantley Gilbert Became Sober With Tough Love


Brantley Gilbert knows what sobriety means to him, because he knows what others went through to get him there. Gilbert admitted that without the love of the people in his life, he couldn’t have gotten there. But that love wasn’t just about holding him close. What helped him was realizing that people will leave. Even the people who love you the most.

Coming to the end

Brantley Gilbert, tough love, sober
Brantley Gilbert (photo from iHeartRadio)

Sobriety is a complicated matter. It certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all-approach. You find that if you spend any time at all around people in recovery, you have a million different stories as to what it took for sobriety to set in. But you also notice one theme: everyone had the point at which they could go no further. So though the circumstances are different, the end is the same. For Brantley Gilbert, that end was losing those closest to him. 

WhiskeyRiff reported the story. 

People will leave

Brantley Gilbert, sober, tough love
Brantley Gilbert (photo from Sounds Like Nashville)

“Basically,  you hear your whole life, people will tell you that the people that are closest to you, you know, will be with you through anything, will never leave. I found out that that’s not the case, at all,” Gilbert said. “Some of the people that love me and cared about me the most were people that said, ‘You know what man, if that’s what you’re about, if being who you are and running with that crowd, the route you’re on, if that’s what you’re about right now I can’t be about it with you.’”

Tough Love and Getting Sober

Brantley Gilbert, sober, tough love
Brantley Gilbert (photo from

Brantley Gilbert went on to describe the tough love of those around him, including his now-wife, Amber.

“My two God kids, the closest thing I ever thought I’d come to kids were my God kids, and I mean I love my God kids more than words. I wasn’t getting to see them. I didn’t see my mom a whole lot because she knew, you know she could tell. Stayed mad at my dad. People that were really close to me that cared about me I just pushed away and other people that knew what was going on said ‘Man, no, just no.”

Losing those relationships and receiving that tough love finally took Gilbert to rehab. From there, others stepped in and helped guide him onto a path. People like Keith Urban. Now, of course, Gilbert is married and he and Amber have a son. But it was a painful way to get there. Thank goodness he was able.