When Joe Nichols married Heather Singleton in 2007, she had already been his rock of support for more than a decade.

"I've been in relationships and she's been in relationships before, throughout the course of this time," Joe tells GAC. "But we've always been able to talk, we've always been able to share, we've always been the best of friends. I just got the opportunity to marry her -- my best friend -- which some people cannot say. So I'm a very fortunate guy."

It was shortly after Joe married Heather that he went into rehab to gain control of his drinking. His current album, 'Old Things New' is the first he's recorded since, with a clear and sober mind ... and an even deeper appreciation of the strength and support his wife provided him during his rehabilitation process.

"She's a great person to bounce things off of," says the singer. "She doesn't pull a lot of punches, she doesn't lie. She makes me be a better person, makes me get a real good grasp of who I am, who I can be, when I'm being a jerk and when I'm not, what parts of me need to grow, what parts of me need to ask for forgiveness, what parts of me need to feel proud."

Joe is feeling very proud this week of his current single, 'Gimmie That Girl' -- a sentimental, upbeat song he likely relates personally to the cherished girl at his side in life. The song just broke Top 15 on the Country Aircheck/Mediabase chart, the first time Joe has risen to that level on that particular chart in more than three years.

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