5 Famous Musicians Who Have Battled Drug and Alcohol Addiction

ou may know the songs by musicians who struggled with drug or alcohol addiction. And you’ve probably heard of the 27 club, consists of 27-years old musicians, artists, actors, many of whom died of an overdose. However, there are still inspiring examples of talented people who didn’t give up, kept fighting, and finally won. There are five stories of five iconic musicians who are clean now and happy to live a new life.



In her biography, Marc Shapiro describes the fact of Adele’s alcohol addiction in great detail. At the very beginning of her career, Adele was anxious about the way she looked on stage and, for courage, began to drink before the shows. Silently, this habit turned into a real problem.

The critical moment was the case when the drunk Adele forgot the words of her song while being on stage at that time. She was so drunk that she forgot the words of her own songs.

Instead of immediately typing “inpatient drug rehab near me” on Google, she literally became a housewife, starting to live a reclusive, homely life. However, it did not help – Adele’s alcohol abuse only deepened. Everything was aggravated by the fact that her father, in his time, also loved to drink.

Finally, in 2011, after a vocal surgery and the birth of her son, she quit drinking and smoking. Now she leads a healthy life and doesn’t drink more than two glasses of wine a week. 



The musician managed to overcome a heavy addiction to a whole cocktail of different drugs – including Valium and Vicodin, which he was doing for almost six years, starting in 2002.

In 2005, Eminem tried to undergo treatment at an inpatient drug rehab, but after the death of his best friend fell into a depression and started doing drugs. At the end of 2007, he barely survived an almost fatal overdose of methadone, and only after that, the rapper found the strength to engage in a habit.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Eminem said that in order to defeat the addiction, he started to run, and also talked with other people who had similar experiences – he even got friends with Elton John.

“I also started running like a fucking maniac. Seventeen miles a day, every day. Just replacing one addiction with another. I had days where I could hardly walk.”


Elton John

At first, drugs caused Elton John a surge of confidence and euphoria, but over time, his addiction intensified and it became more difficult to cope with the negative consequences. In 1983, after filming the clip I’m Still Standing, he woke up with trembling hands and did not remember he had stripped naked the day before, had beaten his manager John Reed, and had destroyed a room in the hotel.

In one of Elton John’s recent biographies, the song I’m Still Standing is called the musician’s sobriety anthem. Still, he actually got rid of his addiction only seven years after its release.

The man who could reach Elton John’s mind was his then-boyfriend Hugh Williams. In July 1990, Elton went to a drug rehab inpatient center in Chicago and had not been taking drugs for 29 years. During this time, he returned to his musical career, married film producer David Furnish, composed the soundtracks for the movie The Lion King and the musical Billy Elliot and became the father of two children.


Steven Tyler

As many may know, Steven Tyler spent $6 000 000 on cocaine when he struggled with addiction. Being a teen, Steven started doing drugs and got kicked out the college because of the addiction. However, the young man did not draw conclusions and did not exclude illegal substances from his life.

In the late 60s, Tyler met with young talented musicians – Tom Hamilton and Joe Perry. In 1970 they founded the musical band Aerosmith. Despite the fact that Aerosmith successfully toured and assembled full concert halls, the band had serious problems arising from the musicians’ excessive addiction to drugs. The members of the team did not hesitate to go out in public on drugs and even disrupt the performances.

In the late 70s, the band was on the verge of collapse. The musicians were exhausted by the constant use of drugs and alcohol, and also began to conflict with each other. Tim Collins managed to save the group, who, in the early 80s, became the team manager. He persuaded the musicians to quit and plunge into work. It worked for a while.

In the mid-80s, Tyler got rid of the addiction, but later started using drugs again and several times had to live in a rehab facility. 

Tyler has been clean since December 2009, and now he fights with addiction every day.


Deryck Whibley

In April 2014, Sum 41 vocalist and Avril Lavigne’s ex-husband Deryck Whibley was taken to hospital in a state of extreme intoxication. The musician was unconscious; his liver and kidneys were overloaded from the amount of alcohol. 

A year after the incident, Derek married his friend Ariana Cooper, the girl who called an ambulance that fateful evening and stayed with him during rehabilitation. Ariana also had problems with alcohol and quit drinking with Derik.