Sir Elton John says helping other musicians is payback for rehab support
Sir Elton John has said he tries to support musicians in difficulty as payback for the help he received while he was ill and in rehab.
The 74-year-old singer reflected on how the 2019 Rocketman film, which is a biopic of his life and explores his abuse of drugs and alcohol, made him emotional but added he “wouldn’t have changed a thing about it”.
Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, Sir Elton said: “I had a lot of support when I was ill and (in) rehab.
“You support your friends through thick and thin. I had a lot of support when I went through the thin end of the wedge and I never forget that.”
He explained that he now tries to look out for other people in similar situations, saying: “I just ring them up and offer them my support, basically. There’s been two or three recently, one young and one old and they’re doing OK, doing really well.
“I’m a recovering alcoholic. (You learn to) pass the message on and help people when you can.
“You call them up and give them some support. That’s what happened to me… people were so kind to me.”
Discussing the Rocketman film, Sir Elton said: “I was in bits. It was exactly how I wanted it to be.
“David, my husband, was a producer on it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. I thought it was honest.
“I didn’t want it to cover anything with saccharin or anything like that. It was true and it ended when I got sober.
“I was really affected by it. The early bits with my family, it made me weep.”
Sir Elton also said he uses his Rocket Hour radio show on Apple Music to “keep in the loop with new artists” and broadcasts their songs to provide them with a platform and then keeps in touch with them afterwards to provide career advice.
He reflected on how he had been given support by artists including Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond when he was younger and wanted to pass that support in turn to new artists.
He added: “All these people who were heroes to me and were so nice to me. That kind of verification means so much to you. (You think) ‘If they think I’m OK then I may be OK’.
“That taught me to say, ‘Listen if that happens to you, you’ve got to give it back to someone else when you get older.’ It’s part and parcel of who I am.”
Chart-topping singer Ed Sheeran is among those Sir Elton has mentored, and was originally signed his management company Rocket Music at the start of his career in 2011.
The pair have collaborated numerous times throughout the years and are now releasing three new holiday songs together, with the first released on December 3 titled Merry Christmas.
Talking about making the music video, Sir Elton said: “I don’t really make videos very often. I’d just had my hip replaced. They made sure I sat down.
“I didn’t expect to see you (Jonathan) or Michael McIntyre or The Darkness. He’s (Ed Sheeran) a bundle of energy – it’s great.”
The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday at 10.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.