Rocker Chris Daughtry poured out his heart in a new podcast interview, vulnerably sharing details of his grief and regrets nearly two years after losing his 25-year-old daughter, Hannah Price. When the “American Idol” alum married his wife Deanna Daughtry in 2000, he became a second dad to Hannah and her little brother Griffin, both from Deanna’s previous relationship, according to E! News. He and Deanna also share twins Adalynn and Noah, who will turn 13 in November, per Us Weekly.
Hannah died in November 2021 at age 25 and after a full investigation, the family issued a statement to People the following January, confirming that Hannah had died by suicide after years of struggling with mental illness.
On the September 30 episode of “The Allison Hagendorf Show,” Daughtry shared candidly about the ups and downs of his journey as a musician and family man, including the grief of losing Hannah and what he wishes he’d said during their last conversation.
Chris Daughtry Opens Up About Coping With ‘Unimaginable, Hard Times’
In early 2022, when Daughtry issued the statement from his family about Hannah’s death, he revealed that they had been immersed in heartbreak for some time. Not only had he lost his mom to cancer one week before Hannah’s death, but Hannah had also been reeling from additional tragedies that occurred in the months leading up to her suicide.
“As Hannah got older, she struggled to find her footing and began using drugs and often found herself in abusive relationships,” the statement read. “Just months after losing her biological father to suicide, Hannah was the victim of a crime and was shot in the face. We did everything we could to support her and get her the help she needed to recover from these tragedies and get her life back on track. We had just recently made plans with Hannah for her to seek further treatment and move closer to the family.”
Late in Daughtry’s 75-minute podcast with Hagendorf, their conversation turned from talking about music and his recent health journey to the loss of Hannah.
Trying to keep his composure, Daughtry said, “One of the hardest things, if I’m being really vulnerable right now, one of the hardest things with losing my daughter is the last time I saw her. And she wasn’t doing very well, I don’t what she was on, didn’t matter. Just trying to be there for her, but I wasn’t. I was trying to fix her, you know?”
Speaking slowly as he thought back to that day, he said, “And I remember she said, you know she was a little out of it but she was like, ‘Can you take me to the store to get cigarettes?’ And I was like, ‘Let’s just hang out and talk.’ I wish I would have just taken her to get those f***ing cigarettes, you know? And not tried to impose my holier than thou, like, ‘Oh you gotta do this, all you gotta do is this.'”
“Mental illness is a bi***,” he continued, “and I encourage anyone out there who’s dealing with the deepest, dark places of their mind — which we all, we’re all batsh** crazy at the end of the day, let’s be honest. And we’re all one bad day away from just being…down the rabbit hole. But it’s how we cope with it and it’s how we process it and how we deal with it, and some people are better at it than others.”
Addressing listeners, Daughtry was adamant saying, “There’s no shame. There is no shame. If you’re dealing with sh** that is just too heavy for you to bear, I promise you there’s somebody else in your circle that understands. There’s someone that you can talk to. Because I do feel that if you’re able to just get past that one day where you thought like it was worth ending, then there is something better on the other side of that.”
Chris Daughtry Said Music Helps Him Cope With His Hardest Days
Daughtry, who recently revealed Aerosmith once asked him to replace lead singer Steven Tyler, told Hagendorf that he and his band will be back in the studio recording new music starting in November But, he warned, the next EP will be “more personal, a little more reflective,” saying that after dealing with so much loss, the songs will likely be “very heavy.”
Daughtry explained, “How I cope with heartbreak, loss and, you know, unimaginable, hard times that no one should ever have to go through? It has to come out in the music. Like, I don’t have a choice.”
However, he told Hagendorf, he doesn’t want to leave fans feeling devastated after listening to his new music.
“I feel like there’s a tightrope (to walk) of ‘How do I present this without making you feel like you want to slit your wrists,’ you know, where there’s some sort of silver lining, and some hopeful thread. Because I’ve gone through all the emotions. I’ve gone through, you know, just the gamut of emotions, and there is hope at the other side of that. There is lessons to be learned, from hindsight, when you lose someone and you go, ‘Oh, I should have said this, I wish I would’ve done this.’ The guilt is heavy.”
Daughtry also talked about that guilt when he appeared on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in June 2022 but told Clarkson, who ranks with him as one of the most successful “Idol” alums, that he felt like their family had been dealing with their grief “in a very healthy way,” including honoring Hannah’s wish to have a natural burial.
Larkspur Conservation in Nashville, near where the Daughtrys live, facilitates natural burials, which allows for bodies to decompose naturally into the earth after they’re wrapped in cloth and placed in a natural basket-type casket.
“We all had shovels,” Daughtry explained, adding that all of their kids participated in the burial. “Seeing my kids do that, and process that, it was a very heavy, magical…it’s hard to explain. But seeing them process that… it’s incredible.”
He added, “It was very healing to be a part of that and see them be a part of that.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can reach the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with assistance in English and Spanish. You can also speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.