The 'Eight Second Ride' singer opens up for the first time on camera about his sobriety journey.
Jake Owen fans know that his road to sobriety began after he admitted embarrassing himself one night after consuming too much alcohol. Now, for the first time on camera since announcing he was 316 days sober, the country crooner's opening up to ET's Cassie DiLaura about how he was able to stop drinking.
"Everything I do in life is spontaneous," the "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" singer tells ET. "Like, when I decided I am not going to drink anymore -- thankfully, I am not -- and what I have learned is I wasn't like a lot of people where it is really hard to quit. I was just like, 'Hey, I am making some pretty stupid decisions when I do drink and I shouldn't do that anymore.' So, I am not going to, and I did, and I just told people that."
It was back in August when the 41-year-old singer and father of two girls -- Pearl, 9, and Paris, 3 -- announced on Instagram that he was celebrating 316 days of being sober. At the time, Owen said that particular embarrassing night "wasn't the first time either" but it definitely triggered some self-reflection. In that same post, Owen said he told himself the next day "never again" while adding that he's "better than that" and that "the people I love the most deserve better," including his "family, my little girls, and my friends."
Soon, after making the decision to cut alcohol out of his life, Owen said his friends started noticing.
"People were wondering like, 'Man, I haven't seen you drink in a while' and I was like, 'Hey, I am just letting people know I am trying to be a better person. I am trying to work on this in my life.' And I think if I just told people that, then maybe it would make them go, 'Yeah, I need to do that too,' and there were a lot of people. They reached out and said that they were like, 'Wow, I needed to hear that, like, today, like, how did you do it?'"
Owen continued, "I guess my answer was -- and I know it is not that easy for a lot of people -- but I just said, 'I am not going to do it anymore,' and you gotta stick to it," he explains.
Since then, Owen says the country music community has been extremely supportive of his decision. Owen, who is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Erica Hartlein, is keenly aware that he's got two little ones who look up to him and a family that needs him.
"There's no shame in saying, 'Yeah, I shouldn't do that anymore.' Like, I've got kids," Owen says. "I've got people to take care of. Best thing you can do for yourself and for other people is being the best version of yourself. If I can do it and it's rubbing off on other people, cool."
It goes without saying, Owen is feeling the healthy effects of cutting alcohol out of his life, but the added perspective has also befuddled him.
"Absolutely. I feel confused sometimes too though," Owen says. "You know, like, it's funny. The world wants people to kind of let loose and have a vice, like, in any way possible, like, they are encouraging it everywhere you look, you know? Whether it's sex or alcohol or whatever. Like, everywhere you look, they're waving it in your face like a dog and a piece of meat. And you're supposed to go along with it 'cause that's what life is. You're supposed to live your life."
"But I've found that I do feel better when I make good decisions," he continues, "and things that inhibit those decisions, I try to keep out of my life."
But, like with any decisions in life, adjustments are necessary.
"When you're going on the road every night and people are like, 'Hey, man, let's have a beer,' you kind of realize, 'Man, I've been out on the road four days this week, I probably have three or four beers a night, that's 16 beers I drank this week.' It's just not healthy over a long term."
Aside from his sobriety, Owen's also celebrating his 10th No. 1 single with "Best Thing Since Backroads." And he's also got his next single lined up in "Up There Down Here," for which he already shot the music video in Wyoming.
His little girls are also growing up so fast and he's basking in the glory of being "surrounded by little angels here on Earth" with Erica and his daughters by his side on his sprawling 150-acre farm home that consists of a mini horse, four dogs, a duck, bald eagle and a stocked pond for one of his daughter's to fish out of.
In fact, the only thing missing is a golf course -- something he may have to convince his fiancee about getting.
"It's funny because Erica asked me the other day like, 'We're not even planning a wedding but yet you're planning on building a little par-3 golf course around here?'" Owen quipped.
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