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30 Famous Musicians Who Have Battled Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

1. Ozzy Osbourne

Rockstar Ozzy Osbourne has long struggled with addiction. In fact, his heavy alcohol and drug abuse led to him being fired from Black Sabbath in 1978.

2. Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain got to know his wife Courtney Love while they used drugs together. His 1994 heroin and alcohol overdose was reportedly the first attempt leading up to his suicide.

3. Britney Spears

According to Britney Spears herself, she has “dabbled with drugs.” However, she has endlessly relapsed on drugs and even shaved her head to hide the evidence of her amphetamine addiction.

4. Snoop Dogg

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been busted quite a few times for his marijuana possession and even just for reeking of it.

5. Amy Winehouse

Honorable British musician Amy Winehouse died of an alcohol addiction in 2011. Known for her eclectic style and deep contralto vocals, Winehouse has much going for her but turned to drugs and alcohol due to stress and her sad life story.

6. Anthony Kiedis

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers turned to cocaine and heroin when he was young. However, when his bandmate died of a heroin overdose in 1988, Kiedis swore he would never again do drugs.

7. Whitney Houston

Singer Whitney Houston, cited by the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female act of all time, was repeatedly in and out of rehab. She passed away in 2012, allegedly as a result of her addiction.

8. Bobby Brown

Singer and bad boy Bobby Brown has faced several arrests, including for DUIs and drugs. He blames his cocaine addiction on his ex-wife, Whitney Houston.

9. Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole’s 2000 autobiography revealed her lifelong struggle with drugs, specifically crack cocaine and heroin. Although she did enter rehab once, she was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2008 and also struggles with kidney disease.

10. Michael Jackson

Entertainer Michael Jackson died in 2009 of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication following cardiac arrest. The singer had long suffered with prescription drug abuse and had used a number of aliases to access the drugs he took.

11. Yoko Ono

Musician Yoko Ono has openly admitted to heroin addiction. She has even claimed that she and John Lennon were kept from receiving deadly quantities of it due to a greedy dealer.

12. David Bowie

In the 1970s, David Bowie struggled with a cocaine addiction. Critics even blame the choppy rhythms of his album “Station to Station” on the drug.

13. Keith Urban

Having been in rehab for alcohol abuse and remained sober since, songwriter and guitarist Keith Urban’s advice for alcoholics is to not be embarrassed to reach out for help.

14. Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett, without question the founder of Pink Floyd, became one of the British rock scene’s most famous acid casualties. His frequent LSD use resulted in him spending entire concerts playing a single chord and even melting a tube of Brylcreem in his hair.

15. Neil Young

Neil Young wrote “The Needle and the Damage Done,” perhaps one of the most moving songs about heroin ever written. Despite having avoided a reputation for drug use, he has definitely done his share, but has since come clean. His reflections on the ill effects of drug use in his music are touching.

16. Elton John

In the early 1980s, in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, Elton John was, in his own words, “a drug addict and self-absorbed.” Although he came out HIV-negative, he regrets his addiction and currently runs the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

17. Izzy Stradlin

Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses once swallowed his entire drug stash in order to enter Japan on tour and ended up in a 96-hour coma.

18. Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead faced multiple charges and arrests for drug possession over the course of three decades.

19. George Harrison

Although all of the Beatles were arrested for drug possession charges at one point or another, George Harrison allegedly managed an arrest on his wedding day.

20. Louis Armstrong

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong was arrested for marijuana possession in 1931.

21. Notorious B.I.G.

Famous rapper Notorious B.I.G. was notorious not only for his music, but also for his cocaine and marijuana use.

22. Aaron Carter

Aaron Carter was pulled over for speeding and possession of two ounces of marijuana in 2008.

23. Ray Charles

The legendary Ray Charles was arrested multiple times for heroin possession but managed to avoid jail.

24. Adam Clayton

Adam Clayton, U2’s lesser-known bassist, was arrested in 1989 in Dublin for marijuana possession.

25. Donovan

Donovan was the first high-profile British pop star to ever face arrest for marijuana possession.

26. Brian Wilson

Talented songwriter Brian Wilson was once kicked out of the Beach Boys as a result of his drug use.

27. Brian Jones

Rolling Stone Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool following being kicked out of the band as a result of his drug use.

28. Flava Flav

Rapper Flava Flav has had his license suspected as a result of DUIs at least 43 times.

29. John Lennon

John Lennon was arrested for marijuana possession alongside his wife, Yoko Ono, and the charge nearly cost him his U.S. citizenship.

30. Bob Marley

Despite having been arrested only once for marijuana possession, reggae star Bob Marley is perhaps even better known for his support of Rastafarianism and for being the king of cannabis.

How to Get Help for Alcohol or Drug Misuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. Professional drug and alcohol treatment programs can start those battling substance use problems on the road to recovery.

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