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Shinedown Singer Comes Clean About Drugs, Weight Loss Issues

Charles Epting, Noisecreep

Shinedown singer Brent Smith waged a serious battle with his body during his formative years as a rock star. It happens. Life on the road is a playing field for hedonistic tendencies. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Smith revealed that he struggled with substance abuse for four years. But he put up his dukes and fought his addictions.

Smith managed to stop using cocaine and painkillers, and eventually ceased drinking alcoholic beverages. But it wasn’t all uphill from there. Ditching drugs caused his weight to balloon, since he exchanged one addiction for another. But he got serious and dropped 70 pounds in the process, getting into fighting shape. What spurred the frontman to make these sweeping changes was not uncommon: Women. Well, that, and being called fat on TV.

The singer admitted his issues, saying, “I’ve toured for over 12 years, and for the first two records, I was addicted to cocaine, OxyContin and alcohol. The coke and Oxy kept my weight down. But for the third album, I quit the opiates and started to crave sugar. I was still drinking a lot of alcohol and started to pack on the pounds.”

Smith was inspired to lose the weight after the band appeared on the ‘TODAY’ show back in 2009, when host Kathie Lee Gifford commented that she thought Smith was large and in charge singer Meat Loaf, known for his girth. Ouch!

Smith was not bulletproof or immune to the painful comment, which was like a smack in the face, saying, “It really stung. I’m a fan of Meat Loaf but she wasn’t talking about a musical comparison. My heart kind of fell on the ground – it was like the performance didn’t even matter.”

Another woman helped Smith get it together. His girlfriend Teresa sat him down not to offer a them-or-me ultimatum but to stage an intervention of sorts. Smith, who was 222 pounds at the time, confessed, “Teresa sat me down on the first of November last year and said, ‘Listen to me, I love you and I’m not going anywhere, but this lifestyle that you’re leading is not going to work.’”

Smith’s lady love shipped him off to a trainer and his life started to turn around. “I felt like I’d been in a death spiral, and I realized I needed to be healthy and strong for my family,” he said. “I have a four-year-old boy, and he was a huge motivation, and so were the fans. I had an epiphany working out with my trainer that day, and I haven’t had a drink since.”

Smith is now on a healthy diet and is dedicated to a fitness program that he can easily manage and maintain, even while on the road. As a result, his stamina is up. He doesn’t have to cloak his bulge in bulky jackets, which leads to being overheated while onstage. He has clarity and his body is in fighting shape, and he feels it impacts his performances.

Shinedown's Brent Smith Reflects on 'Leave a Whisper' 10-Year Anniversary

 

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