If you’ve seen the Elton John biopic Rocketman, you know that he struggled with alcohol and substance abuse, but finally decided to kick the habit in 1990. Today, he’s marking 29 years since he got sober.
On Instagram, Elton posted a photo of his AA sobriety medallion, which has the words “To thine own self be true” and “unity, service and recovery” engraved around the roman numeral for 29.
“29 years ago today, I was a broken man,” he captioned the photo. “I finally summoned up the courage to say three words that would change my life: ‘I need help.’”
“Thank-you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety,” he adds. “I am eternally grateful.”
Elton recently told the Times of London that the new song that he and Tim Rice wrote for the new Lion King movie, “It’s Never Too Late,” accurately describes his own journey to sobriety.
“It’s never too late to change, and that’s what Simba goes through in this whole journey,” Elton told the paper. “It’s never too late to…look at your life and say, ‘I’ve got to change.’ It happened to me in my life. I had an epiphany in 1990. This is about having an epiphany in your life and saying, ‘I need to take a fresh look at what I’m doing.'”
Elton has said that the epiphany came following the death of teenage AIDS victim Ryan White, who’d contracted the HIV virus through a blood transfusion. White died in April of 1990, and Elton said, “Six months later, I was in rehab.”
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