Joe Nichols opens about an abuse-filled childhood and his battle with alcoholism in a new installment of GAC Backstory, premiering Saturday, May 12.
Joe admits his parents’ nasty divorce and physical abuse at the hands of his father set him off on a rocky road. He began drinking whiskey at age 13, and started singing along to Merle Haggard records in his bedroom shortly after that.
At 19, Joe released his first single on a small record label in Arkansas. Two years later he signed with Universal South Records and hit the top of the charts with hits like “Brokenheartsville” and “The Impossible.” He won ACM and CMA Awards and garnered several Grammy nominations, but his father passed away just as his career took off.
Says Joe, “I was ill-equipped to handle the loss of my dad.”
Joe also admits that high points in his life usually lead him into a destructive mode of wanting to tear his success down. He re-entered rehab in 2007 about a month after marrying his wife Heather. A 2008 intervention staged by his family and friends sent him into a more intensive, in-patient rehab program.
Joe credits Heather with sticking by his side through his treatments. They’ve also experienced five consecutive miscarriages before welcoming their daughter Dylan River last month.
Joe’s brother, wife, manager, producer, therapist and friend all gave interview for GAC Backstory. It premieres May 12 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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