US country music star Chris Stapleton has opened up about his journey to sobriety, revealing that he ditched the booze without the help of a rehab stint after he “got into a drinking contest” with himself and lost.
The Tennessee Whiskey crooner, 45, said alarm bells started ringing when he realised that his pre-show ritual was a shot of tequila, without fail, the New York Post reports.
“I didn’t have to go to rehab, but from a 45-year-old-man health perspective, a doctor’s gonna look at me and go, ‘Hey, man, probably cut out the drinking’, and I’d be like, ‘Okay, cool’,” he told GQ.
The You Should Probably Leave hit maker revealed that he’s been sober for years now, and these days his pre-show ritual consists of vocal exercises alone.
“I like to tell people that I got into a drinking contest with myself in my 20s, and I lost,” he said.
“When you’re younger, you feel like you have to do certain things in order to occupy some of these spaces, to make yourself feel like you’re legit. You want to feel things. You want to be able to write about things authentically.”
Stapleton candidly opened up about his journey on his upcoming album Higher, specifically on a track titled The Bottom.
“If somebody working a different kind of job drank themselves to death in the name of being better at that job, it wouldn’t make sense to anybody,” he adds. “We wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, he must have been the greatest electrician who ever lived’.”
The eight-time Grammy winner then revealed that he and his wife, Morgane, have started going to therapy sessions together.
“It was a way to kind of help us navigate what the world was, what that meant to our family, to our business,” he explained.
“Even if your wife wasn’t heavily involved in your career, if you’re happily married and you want to stay that way, you don’t want to sing things that your wife hates,” he added of Morgane, with whom he shares five kids.
It comes as Stapleton announced another leg of his ongoing “All-American Road Show Tour” from March through August 2024 to promote his upcoming album.
He’s bringing some A-list talent along for the ride, too. Willie Nelson & Family, Sheryl Crow, Lainey Wilson, Elle King and Turnpike Troubadours are just a few of the special guests he tapped for the sprawling trek.
Other big names set to join Stapleton include The War And Treaty, Marcus King, Nikki Lane, Marty Stuart, Allen Stone and Grace Potter.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is reproduced with permission