|SIR Elton John says he’s lucky to be alive, claiming he should have died of AIDS years ago. The Rocket Man singer – married to David Furnish – spoke at the International AIDS Conference in Washington yesterday, admitting his promiscuous past could have sent him to an early grave.
The legend referred to music pal Freddie Mercury and Hollywood actor Rock Hudson – who both died of the disease before they hit 60 – in his honest speech.
Sir Elton, 65, revealed details of his rock star lifestyle in the ’80s, which included cocaine abuse and unprotected sex.
He explained he “hit rock bottom” but has been lucky enough to come out of it alive.
He said: “I should be dead – six foot under in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury, just like Rock Hudson.
“Every day I wonder, how did I survive?” The eccentric star – who has been sober for 22 years – attributed his survival to the compassion of strangers as he battled drug addiction and coming to terms with his sexuality. He urged the audience to foster understanding and respect for those who suffer from AIDS, and give everyone the same support he received when he was at his lowest point.
He said: “We have to replace shame with love. We have to replace stigma with compassion.” He also suggested everyone share their messages about the disease via social networking sites, despite his own lack of Twitter knowledge.
The singer joked: “I have no idea how to tweet. I can sing, but I can’t tweet.”