Published Sunday, 15 July 2012
The Rocket Man was addicted to alcohol and cocaine and in 1975 he suffered an overdose, but he managed to turn his back on drugs in the 1990s.
Now, Sir Elton admits he wishes he had cleaned up his act sooner so he could have revelled in his early success.
In an interview with US TV presenter Matt Lauer, he 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 centre 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."
The full chat is set to air on America's Today show next week.