Elton John Discusses Helping Eminem With His Drug Addiction
After his battle with drugs forced him to take a three-year hiatus from the music business back in 2005, Eminem has returned full-force. In 2009, the Detroit rapper sold more than one million copies of his fifth studio album, ‘Relapse,’ in addition to pulling in the title of the best-selling artist of the decade. Over the weekend, British piano man Elton John, who formed a friendship with Eminem back in 2001, told BBC radio that he’s been helping Slim Shady on the road to recovery. “I’ve been helping Eminem over the last 18 months and he’s doing brilliantly,” John told BBC Radio over the weekend.
During his struggle with addiction, Eminem explained to Vibe magazine that he was losing a battle with prescription pills. “If I was to give you a number of Vicodin I would actually take in a day? Anywhere between 10 to 20. Valium, Ambien … ” he said. “The numbers got so high I don’t even know what I was taking.”
John, who fought his own battles with drugs and alcohol earlier in his career, has been known to counsel other celebrity addicts. “I’m there if people want my help,” he told BBC Radio. “If people ask for help, you tell them where to go, but there’s no point advising people if they don’t want to do it.”
John and Em’s friendship began when they performed the track ‘Stan,’ from ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ at the 2001 Grammys. Eminem’s choice to perform with the pianist was surprising considering the backlash he was receiving for his anti-gay sentiments on ‘The Marshall Mathers LP‘ tracks ‘Kill You’ and ‘Criminal.’ Slim Shady later said he wasn’t aware that Elton John was gay when he asked him to perform the song.