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Chris Stapleton chose to get sober without rehab: “I got into a drinking contest with myself … and I lost"

Country star Chris Stapleton is talking about his decision to get sober – and how he did it without rehab.

A musician whose pre-show ritual once included a shot of tequila, Stapleton knew he had a problem. “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 said.

The singer has been sober for several years. His pre-show preparation now consists of vocal exercises. Stapleton writes about his former routine on his upcoming album “Higher,” specifically on a track titled “The Bottom.”

“It was a way to kind of help us navigate what the world was, what that meant to our family, to our business,” he shared of their decision to go. He speaks highly of his wife, describing her as his “barometer on songs.” 

“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.”

Stapleton is currently on tour. His new album comes out November 10. Last month, he canceled several shows after he contracted bronchitis and laryngitis.

Caroline Thayer is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Follow Caroline Thayer on Twitter at @carolinejthayer. Story tips can be sent to


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