Elton John celebrates nearly three decades of sobriety

After nearly three decades of sobriety, Sir Elton John is celebrating his accomplishment with a message to fans – and all those who’ve stood by his side.

We’ve seen many celebrities take a darkened path (many of which never came out the other side). But as for the legendary singer, he’s “a survivor.”

Elton John’s rise to fame was recently documented in the biopic Rocketman.

For years, the musician abused substances as a way to cope with his struggles – even facing a shopping addiction, eating disorder, and issues with anger.

Eventually, however, he reached a breaking point.

In an exclusive interview with Variety, John said:

“The life I was leading, flying on the Starship [his legendary private plane], living in beautiful houses, buying things left, right and center — it was not a normal life, not the sort of life I came from anyway.

I lost complete touch with that. I vowed when I did change my life that that would never happen again.”

One person who helped inspire John’s sobriety was teen (and friend) Ryan White, who passed away from AIDS.

According to PEOPLE, the musician checked into Chicago’s Parkside Lutheran Hospital in 1990 – the year of Ryan’s passing.

Elton John is now 72-years-old and has been clean for 29 years. This is a major feat, especially coming from his former lifestyle.

In honor of the milestone, John reached out on social media to his millions of followers with a heartfelt post. It read:

“29 years ago today, I was a broken man. I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: “I need help”.

John also shared a photo of his Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety coin. He closed his message with words of gratitude.

“Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful. Elton xo”

Fans offered words of support and congratulations to Sir Elton John. Some could even relate to his struggles. One person beautifully commented:

“I’m grateful for my sobriety and also grateful for yours! Your music and your humanitarian efforts have made the world better.

As someone once wrote, “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world…”

Another Facebook user shared:

“It takes great courage to admit to yourself that you need to make changes, and even greater courage to say it out loud and then follow through on those necessary actions.

Congratulations Elton! Thank you for your music, your charity work and inspiration!”

John’s had many other great accomplishments in his life over the years. In 1992 he established the Elton John’s AIDS Foundation in the US, followed by the UK in 1993. Over $400 million has been raised by the foundations combined.

In addition to having a very successful music career, John’s also been lucky in finding love as well.

He’s been partners with Canadian filmmaker, David Furnish, for 26 years – marrying in 2014. Together they have sons, eight-year-old Zachary and six-year-old Elijah.

John told Variety:

“I’ve survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide.”

Watch the video below to see Elton John’s exclusive interview with Variety about his life, addictions, and sobriety. What an inspiration he is!

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