Ashley McBryde Celebrates Almost 2 Years of Sobriety

Ashley McBryde announced in September that she had quietly quit drinking more than a year ago, choosing to keep her sobriety to herself until she was ready to share her story. But now, the Grand Ole Opry member is more than ready to talk about how alcohol became a crutch, and why she wanted — and needed — to release herself from its grip.

“It was just such a part of my persona,” McBryde told CBS Sunday Morning. “I was like, ‘What do I do? What does anybody do if they’re not drinking?'”

McBryde intentionally waited until she had been sober for a while before sharing her story, a story she now says she wishes she had written sooner.

“Several times I have said, ‘My God, if you’d told me how good things get, pretty quickly, I would’ve stopped drinking a long time ago,'” McBryde said. “I had no idea that I was this far in my way.”

When McBryde revealed she quit drinking, she said it was because she realized she needed to stop using alcohol as an escape for her complicated feelings.

“Turns out it was just really detrimental,” McBryde said on Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen. “And then when you’re finding out the reasons that you’re going so overboard all the time was because of your inability to feel something that your brain was like, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s weak. I’m not going to accept that. I’d rather just hurt.’ This morning I was at the boxing gym working out with my coach. We were doing something that was hard, and he said, ‘Are you okay? Do you need a break?’ And I said, ‘I know how to hurt.’

“I do now,” she added. “I mean, I knew how to hurt before and add extra to it for no reason. And now, when I’m uncomfortable, I say out loud, ‘I know how to be uncomfortable.’”

McBryde, like many artists, did not have an easy, paved path to country music. After being told by a high school teacher that her dreams of being a songwriter were “stupid,” an unfortunate incident she details in her “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” single, McBryde has learned to make her music, her way.

“Sometimes you are just getting punched in the face, over and over,” the singer reflected. “But if you keep your head on your shoulders, and stay on your feet, this is what it looks like. The lights go down, everybody applauds, and then the stage starts to glow, and then music starts.”

McBryde’s very personal The Devil I Know album was released in September. The 11-track record was, in many ways, the Arkansas native’s response to other people’s criticism of her music.

“‘Y’all are too country.’ We leaned into that – more country it is,” McBryde explained. “‘Y’all are awfully rock-leaning for a country artist.’ Is that so? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. ‘Last thing y’all need is another tender, finger-pickin’ song.’ Oh? Tender makes you uneasy, cowboy? I hear you. Let’s see how much more tender we can be. We listened to all those opinions and said, ‘I hear you. I understand what you’re saying.’ But sadly, there’s no room on the record for your opinion. We’ll do what we want.”

McBryde is spending much of the year headlining her own The Devil I Know Tour. Find all of her music and upcoming shows at

Read ’15 Country Music Singers Who Are Sober’ here.