In a recent NBC interview, Elton John told Harry Smith how the death of 18-year-old Ryan White from AIDS-related pneumonia snapped him into sobriety despite years of cocaine and substance abuse.
Ryan White, the poster child of HIV/AIDS in the United States, was 13 years old when he contracted the virus after a blood transfusion. His school didn’t allow him back because of AIDS and Ryan and his mother fought until his death for his rights. Finally, in 1990, having lived five years longer than the doctors had estimated for him, Ryan died just a few months before the Congress passed a legislation bearing his name in August 1990.
Elton called Ryan White’s funeral and seeing what Ryan went through the catalyst that turned him around and seek help to heal his addiction.
The Candle in the Wind singer has since been sober and celebrated 29 years of sobriety in July.
Elton’s forthcoming memoir Me, as reported in people.com, is out on October 15, had these sentiments about cocaine.