Sir Elton John says fame has been ‘a curse’ after battling addictions

January 22, 2018
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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Sir Elton John and David Furnish attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)


Sir Elton John has admitted he finds fame a “curse” after years battling drug and alcohol addictions.

The globally famous artist, whose mother recently passed away, says he turned to substance abuse to deal with the intensity of his celebrity.

Sir Elton made the admission as he was announced as a winner of the 24th World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award alongside Cate Blanchett and Shah Rukh Khan.

Sir Elton John (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Writing for the World Economic Forum ahead of its annual conference, Sir Elton confessed: “My essential humanity began to dissolve into an excess of drugs and alcohol.

“Fame, which at first sight looks like a blessing, soon revealed itself as also a curse.

“I am afraid I reacted very badly. I became a loathsome person – selfish, self-centred, and disconnected.

“That amounts to a painful second lesson, one I learnt by doing it all wrong.”

Elton John’s AIDS Foundation has raised more than $385 million for HIV- and AIDS-related programs (Getty)

Sharing his leadership tips ahead of the economics conference, he added: “A good leader has a moral integrity that survives both success and failure.”

Sir Elton previously admitted to ‘wasting’ years of his life on addictions.
Speaking to the Today show the Tiny Dancer singer said he was “consumed by cocaine, booze and who knows what else” earlier in his career.

Sir Elton said: “I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s. And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed.

Sir Elton John (Getty)

“You know, I was having people die right, left and centre around me, friends. And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that bad of a disease.”

He added: “I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the Me generation had ended.”

Sir Elton also said he was lucky that he wasn’t diagnosed as HIV-positive.

“You know what? When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible. I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.”

Sir Elton John, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John and David Furnish (Getty)

His late mother, Sheila Farebrother died age 92 in December, just months after the mother and son ended their longstanding feud. 

In a post to instagram, he described the funeral as “perfect”.

Writing after her funeral he said: “Dear Mum, today’s funeral was perfect.

“Having the service in the family chapel and attended by your brother and sister brought us all comfort.


Having the service where Nan lived out her final days brought you and your Mother back together again.

“Tomorrow your friends will gather separately to say their good byes. I’ve chosen all the music so everything will be just right.”

He added: “Thank-you for bringing me into the world and for all that you have done for me. Love, Elton #RIP.”

Related topics: davos, drugs, Gay, LGBT, Music, Sir Elton John, World Economic Forum

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