Lady A’s Charles Kelley Reflects on Life Since Getting Sober: “It’s Led Me a Lot Closer to My Spirituality”

In a new interview with Billboard on September 25, Lady A founding member Charles Kelley opened up about his struggles with alcoholism. Kelley has been sober for about a year after seeking help.

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“I never thought I would actually enjoy it, you know?” Kelley said of getting sober. “I thought, ‘OK, I’m gonna do this for my family, I’m gonna do this for my band, I’m gonna do this for myself.’ But I think it’s the energy you get from not having crazy nights and all of those different things.”

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“It’s led me a lot closer to my spirituality,” Kelley soon continued. “It’s led me to look at myself and what I want more. Like, what am I doing? What am I standing for? What do I want for the next 20 years? I think sometimes you have to kind of hit that point of desperation in a way to find that. I’m glad I hit it in my 40s and didn’t wait until later on in life.”

During the Billboard interview, Kelley’s bandmate Hillary Scott explained that she has seen her bandmate positively impacted by his sobriety in major ways. “You’ve always had a big heart and a passion for music and the people you love and loyalty,” Scott said, speaking directly to Kelley. “And now, I feel like there is more communication of those feelings.”

Scott was not the only band member to openly discuss Kelley’s sobriety, with third Lady A member Dave Haywood opening up about how grateful he is for his bandmate’s progress. “I feel like, [there’s] a lot of daily gratitude, saying, ‘Let’s celebrate and enjoy this moment.’ We don’t always have to look to the next thing we’re going to do,” Haywood said. “Let’s be grateful with this music, with this moment, with this show tonight. He’s been fantastic, and we’re so proud of him.”

This month, Lady A will be embarking on their 2023 Request a Line Tour in North America. Lady A was initially going to embark on the Request a Line Tour in 2022, but postponed it in order for Kelly to focus on his sobriety. On August 4, 2022, the band released a statement on Instagram revealing that the tour was going to be rescheduled. “We have decided to postpone our Request Line Tour until next year,” the trio wrote. “Being on the road with our fans is our greatest joy, so it was a hard but important decision to make.”

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen / Big Machine

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