Tim Mcgraw knew he needed to get sober when his children noticed his drink and drug abuse.

The 47-year-old country singer - who has daughters Gracie, 17, Maggie, 15, and Audrey, 12, with wife Faith Hill - curbed his wild ways in 2008 after fearing he was going to ''lose everything'' following a stark warning from his spouse.

He told the new issue of Men's Health magazine: ''When your wife tells you it's gone too far, that's a big wake-up call. That, and realising you're gonna lose everything you have. Not monetarily, not career-wise, but family-wise.

''It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it. And I noticed that they noticed. That's enough to straighten you out... I drank too much. I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but... use your imagination.''

Tim went on to admit he was close to being ''overtaken'' by his ''demons'', comparing himself with late country singer Keith Whitley, who died of alcohol poisoning in 1989.

He added: ''Keith Whitley taught me how demons can overtake you if you let 'em. And I was headed down that path. You feel like you're supposed to be 'on' all the time. Then you drink and get onstage, and all of a sudden you feel confident and powerful.''

These days, the 'Southern Girl' singer can even laugh about the physical transformation his bad habits brought him.

He said: ''I was looking at some old concert shots the other day. Man, my gut!.

''I was up there in a see-through shirt - I thought I was lookin' good!''