Former NHL star Theo Fleury puts his life story to music
By Steve Ginsburg
(Reuters) - Theo Fleury's life story reads like a country song: He suffered sexual abuse as a youth, he was addicted to drugs, he drank too much, and he even put a pistol in his mouth and debated whether to pull the trigger.
So it seems only natural that the former National Hockey League star decided to try his hand at country music, a staple of the Canadian Prairies where he grew up. And it's fitting that the debut single from his new album is called "My Life's Been A Country Song."
Fleury, who is now a motivational speaker and advocate for sexual abuse victims, wrote the deeply personal songs on "I Am Who I Am," along with Canadian musician Phil Deschambault. The seven-time NHL All-Star admits the experience was therapeutic.
"The songs are about my life, my struggles, my experiences," the 47-year-old Calgary man told Reuters ahead of the Oct. 23 release of the album.
"Maybe they find their own voice or it inspires them to start that process of healing," Fleury said, referring to sexual abuse victims.
After retiring from the NHL in 2002, the diminutive Fleury said he had trouble finding his passion. He had a concrete business for a few years, followed by several jobs that did not pan out.
"It just wasn't for me," the Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist said of his post-NHL life. "I didn't like it. It didn't excite me. It didn't inspire me. I like to entertain people and tell stories. That's where I fit in the world."