In addition to being a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Knight of the British Empire and famed philanthropist, Elton John has long been an advocate for sobriety and addict rehabilitation.
John has repeated in the press and during his concerts over the years that he would have died young had he not made the best decision of his life and gotten sober in 1990. Even his Golden Globe-winning biopic, Rocketman, dwells largely on the pitfalls of his drug abuse.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John recalled his first dalliance with cocaine as the "Worst decision of my life. I shouted at people. I wasn't proud of that behavior because it is not really who I am."
The singer/composer continued, suggesting that his bad reputation in the music industry was a result of how ugly his behavior was when he was high. But his saving grace has always been song.
"It led a lot of people to say I've always been a diva," he said. "I am not. Now I don't take drugs. ... Music, from the age of three or four, was my comfort blanket. And when I was doing terrible things to myself in the '70s and '80s, it was also my comfort blanket. And so it kept me alive. Music has been everything to me. ...If I hadn't have had that love of music, I would have died, without question. Because even when I was at the depths of despair, I used to play music all the time."
Few would accuse John today of being a diva, given his continuous work on behalf of HIV/AIDS research, his generous donation to Australian bushfire relief and his recent tale about taking the stage in Las Vegas a matter of weeks after prostate cancer surgery.
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