Brantley Gilbert on Being a Father: ‘They’re My Smile’

Brantley Gilbert might give off a tough exterior, but he’s a pretty big softie on the inside, especially when it comes to his children. The father of three-year-old son, Barrett, and one-year-old daughter, Braylen, says being their dad is his favorite job he has ever had.

“I kind of follow their lead a lot of times,” Gilbert tells his record label. “My little boy, he’s three, I bought him a T-ball set, a bucket of balls and stuff. And he’ll key into it, and he’ll hit for about maybe a minute, and then he’s off to something else. And my little girl’s much the same way. At one and three, I’m still kind of following them, letting them do their thing and klnd of seeing how I fit into their world a little bit, I guess.

“But they’re my smile, they’re my heart, they’re my whole world,” he adds. “I’ve been a lot of things in my life. I’ve been a biker, a singer — just a lot of things, but being a dad is by far my favorite thing that I’ve ever been.”

In December, Gilbert celebrated nine years of sobriety, a hard-fought battle that he says he has kept in part to some of his numerous tattoos.

“The one on my left side is really the story of my life, and goes through my addiction and the tribulations and trials,” Brantley explained. “I got the devil trying to get on my shoulder over here, and I got two angels – I got one chubby angel with a spear keeping him from getting up here.

“It’s just little things like that that I remember the struggle every time I look at my arm,” he continues. “That’s one of the things, people ask me, ‘How are you staying sober?’ And honest to God, this has a lot to do with it. Every time I look down, I see flames and skulls and the fact that I put myself and everybody that works for me through hell.”