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 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, who once called Alice his "godfather."

Congratulations on realizing that Poison is the only poison you need in your life, Mr. Cooper.

2 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.

3 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... read more

In 1986, Stevie Ray checked into rehab after nearly dying from dehydration while on tour. He remained clean for the rest of his life and famously 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.

4 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.

5 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.

6 David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (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... read 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.

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

Waits has a distinctive voice, with this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music,... read 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.

8 Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer, pianist and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 on more than 30 albums, John has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has... read more

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 dedicated his time to supporting the fight against AIDS.

9 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.

10 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.

The Contenders
11 Ivan Moody Ivan L. Moody, known by the pseudonym Ghost during his time with Motograter, is the lead vocalist for American heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch from Las Vegas, Nevada.
12 David Crosby David Van Cortlandt Crosby was 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 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.
14 Bonnie Raitt Bonnie Lynn Raitt is an American blues singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums that incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country.

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.

15 Brett Anderson

The lead singer for Suede, he was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine in the late 1990s, and his addiction caused numerous problems during the recording sessions for their fourth album Head Music. Brett finally decided to get sober after a close friend of his became ill. He has been clean ever since.

16 John Frusciante John Anthony Frusciante is an American guitarist, singer, producer and composer.He is best known for his time with the Funk Rock California based band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was also part of the Mars Volta, Swahili Blonde, Ataxia and more.
17 Belinda Carlisle Belinda Jo Carlisle is an American singer who gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of the Go-Go's, one of the most successful all-female bands of all time.

Yes, she's a drummer and a guitarist in her spare time, but she made the greatest moment of her career by stopping using cocaine, quitting booze, and smoking all at once in 2005. Today, at age 63, she's in the best shape of her life. Its Joeysworld

18 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.

19 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... read more
20 Graham Coxon
21 Jack Grisham

Vocalist for T.S.O.L., he was an addict but has been sober since 1989.

22 Keith Morris
23 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.

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