Elton John has revealed he worried he wouldn’t be able to perform sober after taking a year off music to get treatment for his addiction issues in 1990.
The singer, 72, attended Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in order to get sober but admitted going back to performing was hard.
He told Variety’s Recovery Issue: ‘After I finally surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again.
‘But at that time, I wasn’t thinking too much about being an artist. I had reached the lowest ebb in my life – the absolute bottom.
‘I hated myself so much. I was consumed with shame. All I wanted to do was get well. I put all of the energy I had left toward my recovery. ’
Elton cleared his diary in order to give himself time to focus on his recovery but there was one charity concert he didn’t want to back out of, which made him realise he would be able to perform again.
He explained: ‘When the day arrived, I was terrified, but I did manage to get through the performance. It was the only time I stepped on a stage that year, and I had to do it on my own without the band.
‘In retrospect, I’m glad I went straight in at the deep end… That show gave me confidence to know that I could still perform sober.’
Following his treatment, Elton wrote his 1992 album The One and worked on The Lion King soundtrack, for which he won an Oscar.
Elton added that he made sure to keep up his AA and NA meetings while on tour, even stopping in to local groups in different countries where he didn’t speak the same language as a way of keeping his recovery on track and making him feel ‘grounded’.