Elton John's Persistent Health Problems

PHOTO: Elton John attends the World AIDS Day event in Sydney in this Dec. 1, 2011 file photo.
Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

The respiratory infection that landed Elton John in the hospital Wednesday and forced him to cancel multiple concerts is just the latest health problem for the pop music icon. Click through for five other illnesses and addictions that have sidelined his career:


Elton began doing cocaine in the 1970s and the habit quickly spiraled out of control. "For some people a gram of cocaine can last a month," he told Parade magazine in 2010. "Not me. I have to do the lot, and then I want more. At the end of the day, all it led to was heartache."


During the 1980s, Elton became bulimic in an effort to lose weight. He ended up seeking treatment in 1990 "because I was frightened," he told the Chicago Sun Times. In a 2002 interview with Larry King, Elton said that he and the late Princess Diana bonded over the disease. "We were both bulimic," he said. "I was also a bulimic. We exchanged letters about things like that."


Around the same time that Elton's drug addiction reached its peak, he became incredibly depressed. "I had become, physically ugly, spiritually ugly, a slob, a pig," he told the Chicago Sun Times. "Despite all the success, I think I just wanted to be loved. I wanted someone to love me." He dealt with depression again in 1997 following the deaths of his close friends Gianni Versace and Princess Diana.

Heart Problems

In 1999, after doctors found that he had an irregular heartbeat, Elton had a pacemaker installed. "I feel very well," he told reporters following the surgery, according to People magazine. "I'm a bit stiff, a bit sore, but everything went really well."

Throat Problems

In January 1987, Elton underwent exploratory throat surgery that forced him to cancel all performances, including a U.S. tour scheduled for that year. The month before announcing his surgery, Elton collapsed on stage during a concert in Sydney, Australia, toward the end of a 27-date tour.

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