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Joe Nichols Spills on His Alcoholism, Abuse-Filled Past in ‘Backstory’

Joe Nichols
Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images for ACM

Joe Nichols may be living a blissful life now with wife Heather and his brand new baby girl, Dylan River, but the singer openly admits his that road to happiness has been anything but smooth travels. After difficulties coping with an abusive childhood and a meteoric rise in his music career, Nichols has decided to discuss his personal setbacks, as well as explain the reasons he is able to speak about them now.

With a string of hits — including the No. 1 singles ‘Gimme That Girl,’ ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off’ and ‘Brokenheartsville’ — Nichols was poised to quickly ascend into superstar status, but the singer admits the high peaks of his career were often overshadowed by his destructive behavior. “Those are the most dangerous times for me,” Nichols tells GAC. “That’s when I want to destroy everything.”

The death of his abusive father also lead Nichols into a downward spiral. “I was ill-equipped to handle the loss of my dad,” he acknowledges. The singers cites his parents divorce, abuse from his father and an early addiction to whiskey at age 13 as the foundation for this troubled ways.

Despite his shortfalls, Nichols pressed on, marrying his longtime friend Heather Singleton in 2007. With multiple stints in rehab and five consecutive miscarriages, the two were able to stand together through it all. “There’s no way Heather should still be married to me,” says Nichols, who checked back into rehab after only 30 days of marriage. “There’s no way. It’s only by grace.”

Thankfully, the singer has grown in many ways in spite of his past. “I live free now,” he says confidently. “I don’t live perfectly, I don’t claim that. That’s a mistake because I can’t promise anything past today.”

The singer’s personal struggles were documented as part of GAC’s ‘Backstory: Joe Nichols,’ which is set to air May 12 on GAC. In the episode, Nichols’ family, friends and personal therapists give strikingly candid details on the singer’s troubled past.

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