Top Ten Rock Musicians Who Achieved Sobriety

This list is about rock musicians who became notorious for their heavy drug and/or alcohol addictions and managed to achieve sobriety. They can be living or deceased, just as long as they achieved sobriety and maintained it until they passed away. One of the main criteria for this list is how intense or notorious their period of addiction was. Feel free to add more examples.

The Top Ten

1 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, musician and occasional actor whose career spans over five decades.

In 1983, after years of alcohol and drug abuse, Alice Cooper finally achieved sobriety. He has since then helped others achieve sobriety, including Dave Mustaine. (Dave once called Alice his "godfather"). - Gg2000

Congrats on realising that Poison is the only poison you need in your life, Mr. Cooper. - Britgirl

2 Stevie Ray Vaughan Stevie Ray Vaughan Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music, and more.

In 1986, Stevie Ray checked into rehab after nearly dying from dehydration while on tour. He remained clean throughout the rest of his life, and he infamously used the phrase "thank God the elevator's broken" in the liner notes for his album In Step. This was a reference to the "twelve steps" used by Alcoholics Anonymous. - Gg2000

3 Joe Walsh Joe Walsh Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh is an American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer.

Joe said that after waking up on a plane in Paris not knowing how or why he got there, he decided to get sober. He has stayed clean ever since. - Gg2000

4 Eric Clapton Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.

Eric's rehabilitation process lasted over the course of the early 80s. He has since remained completely sober. - Gg2000

5 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

In 2011, Neil Young publicly announced his sobriety, saying that he wanted to know what it feels like to live life while sober. - Gg2000

6 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. more.

David Bowie began taking measures against his addictions when he infamously moved to Berlin to create "Low", "Heroes", and "Lodger". He was completely clean by the time he reached his 50s. - Gg2000

7 Tom Waits Tom Waits Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits, born December 7, 1949 is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. more.

Tom says that he has been sober for twenty years, partially due to the influence of his wife Kathleen, who has helped him manage almost all aspects of his personal life. - Gg2000

8 James Hetfield James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

As anyone who has watched Some Kind of Monster knows, James went into rehab in 2002. He has remained sober since then. - Gg2000

He thanks his wife for that. - Metal_Treasure

9 Elton John Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

Known for his cocaine abuse in the 1970s, Elton got sober in 1990 after hearing about teenager Ryan White dying from AIDS. Realizing that he was self-absorbed with his own addiction, he got sober and used his time to dedicate himself to supporting the fight against AIDS. - Gg2000

10 Ringo Starr Ringo Starr Richard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.

Ringo became a full blown alcoholic in the 1970s and 1980s. He was even a member of the infamous Hollywood Vampires drinking club, which also included Alice Cooper, Micky Dolenz, and Keith Moon, among others. He and his wife, Barbara Bach, both went into rehab in 1988. They are both sober and are still married to this day. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Rob Halford Rob Halford Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.

He heavily abused drugs and alcohol but in 1986 went to rehab and got clean. He has been clean and sober ever since. - Metal_Treasure

Thanks for adding him. I never fully realized the extent of his addiction. I think that if he didn't get sober when he did, he might not be performing at all. - Gg2000

12 David Crosby David Crosby David Van Cortlandt Crosby is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of three bands: the Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and CPR.
13 Damon Albarn Damon Albarn Damon Albarn is an English singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is known as the lead singer of the British rock band Blur, the co-founder, vocalist, instrumentalist and principal songwriter of the virtual band Gorillaz. He was born on March 23, 1968, in Whitechapel, London, England. Albarn more.
14 Graham Coxon
15 Jack Grisham

Vocalist for T.S.O.L. He was an addict but has been sober since 1989. - THC13

16 Keith Morris Keith Morris

Sober since 1989. - THC13

17 Slash Slash Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

After years of heavy alcohol and drug abuse, Slash got sober in 2005. He also gave up smoking in 2009 after his mother died from lung cancer. - Gg2000

18 Jerry Cantrell Jerry Cantrell Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains.

He has been sober since 2003. - Gg2000

19 Bonnie Raitt Bonnie Raitt

She's been clean and sober since 1987. She said that one of the things that encouraged her to get help was seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan live and realizing that he was even better while sober. - Gg2000

BAdd New Item