Joe Nichols is back, and he's stronger than ever.

The singer, whose latest album, 'Crickets' is being released Tuesday (Oct. 8), admits it has been a long and bumpy road to get him to this place in his career. After finding early success with 'The Impossible' and 'Brokenheartsville,' which became his first No. 1 hit in 2002, his personal demons got in the way of his continued success.

“I was an immature baby wrapped in this guy’s body, acting like an idiot,” Nichols admits to Nashville's Tennessean. He sought help for his substance abuse in 2006, but his professional and personal life continued to spiral downward. He split with Toby Keith's label, Show Dog/Universal, after his 'It's All Good' album failed to have a song break the Top 20, and his wife Heather suffered a staggering five miscarriages.

“Not only did everything not go perfect after treatment, everything went kind of horrible,” he notes. “But what treatment gave me was the ability to cope with life. Now, when things don’t go my way, I think, ‘Maybe I’m supposed to learn something from this.’ I didn’t have that equipment before.”

The Arkansas native wasn't ready to give up without a fight. He signed with Red Bow Records (a division of Broken Bow) last year, and began recording the album he has been wanting to make all along.

“My last couple of years on Show Dog were filled with animosity and bad decisions,” Nichols explains. “On this album, I lost all that junk and went about it in a better mindset. I felt like I needed to do something different. ... I’d felt stagnant, and I didn’t want to feel stagnant anymore. I didn’t want to do the same thing, because the same thing wasn’t working."

The debut single from the album, 'Sunny and 75' is already in the Top 20 and climbing, which Nichols says is all the affirmation he needs.

“It’s not like I left radio when I was on top,” he notes. “I’d kind of limped off, and I know the appearance of that. It looked like the end of my career. So it was scary to go back to radio with something completely new and say, ‘I’m back. New deal. New songs. Tell me what you think.’”

It seems his fans already heartily approve of his new music. 'Crickets' is available for purchase here.