Elton John On 'Today' With Matt Lauer: Rocker Talks AIDS, Coming Out, Fatherhood

From Keith Richards to Stevie Nicks, "sex, drugs and rock and roll" has been the war cry for many musicians and in a new interview with Matt Lauer, Elton John admits that it was for him, too.

The conversation, which will be featured on NBC's "Today" in two parts airing Tuesday and Wednesday July 17 and 18, revolves around John's first-ever memoir, "Love Is The Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS," which hits store shelves on July 17.

The musician, who has long been an AIDS activist and has raised over $275 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) which he founded in 1992, speaks candidly with Lauer about the guilt he feels for being "consumed" by drugs while the AIDS epidemic ravaged the gay community around him in the early 80's.

John says:

I wasted such a big part of my life... I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn't stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It's that -- you know, it's that bad of a disease.

John also admits that he did not practice safe sex during the "early days of the AIDS episode," saying "When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you're invincible... I came out of this HIV negative...
I was the luckiest person in the world."

Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean's revelations about their sexualities has made coming out a hot topic in recent weeks and John also discusses his own move out of the closet which he made via a 1976 Rolling Stone cover story.

When asked if he felt any trepidation about coming out for fear it would ruin his career, John responds:

"No, it-- I honestly didn't. And it -- to be honest with you, it did a little bit. In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn't play me. It didn't have any effect like the Dixie Chicks had when they made the anti-Iraq statements and their career was ruined. So by me saying gay in the 1970s -- it didn't have a big effect on me whatsoever."

John, who, with his husband David Furnish, welcomed their son Zachary via surrogate in December 2010, also reveals he'd like more children in the future and says that when his son asks why he doesn't have a "mommy," it will be "heartbreaking for him to grow up and realize he hasn't got a mummy. But he's so happy. I've never seen a more contented child. And you have never seen two more contented people as David and I."

For more from the "Today" interview with Elton John, tune in on Tuesday and Wednesday July 17 and 18. Check your local listings for times and channels and visit the official "Today" website for more information.

Below, view a slideshow of other celebrities that came out:



Celebrities Who Have Come Out