Lady A’s Charles Kelley told CBS Mornings’ Gayle King that his drinking problem almost led to a divorce from his wife, Cassie. That’s why he started rehab. During a family trip to Greece, Charles said he argued with Cassie and turned off his phone, disappearing for the night and drinking with strangers. When he returned the following day, she told him he needed help and planned to meet with a divorce attorney. Kelley says the incident was a turning point. He flew directly to treatment, crediting his wife for pushing him to seek help.
He told King, “It just makes me feel so grateful at how close I came to losin’ it all. And I think the thing that’s hard is to know how much it affected Cassie the most, and my band, and the people around me. And how much it emotionally kinda wrecked them for a while. And that, I can’t really say I’m sorry enough. And it’s just gonna take time to rebuild that.”
Kelley said in the same interview that his drinking was like a joke early on. He said, “I remember joking, you know, with buddies. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m definitely a functioning alcoholic.’ And I said, ‘I know I’m gonna have to stop at some point, but that’s not today.'”
Charles even admitted that his Lady A bandmates, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, were also aware of the problem and first addressed it five years ago. He noted, “We would have shows where they’re like, ‘Hey man, you might have had a little too much to drink that night.’ I was like, ‘Okay, well, has it affected how hard I work? Has it affected the shows?'”
In January, Kelley released a solo single. He says “As Far As You Could” is his “goodbye letter to alcohol.” Kelley co-wrote the redemptive ballad after a public decision to stop drinking and begin addiction treatment.
Charles said in a press release, “For me, the biggest word I’ve been holding onto is gratitude, not pride. I’m grateful. I finally see the light and am connecting with what life is all about. Some days are hard, but the good outweighs the bad moments. There’s some beauty in all this, and I’ve had time to reflect, time to get healthy, time to write. I’ve probably written 50 songs this fall, and I feel like all of it was leading to this one song.”
The song was co-written and produced with Lady A bandmate Dave Haywood and Jimmy Robbins. The ballad captures an inner conflict experienced by many, mixing sadness and serenity as Kelley recounts the steps along his path – both good and bad.