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Pop Stars Who Overcame Addiction

Addiction
Christopher Polk / Jason Merritt / Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Being rich, famous and talented is not always all it’s cracked (no pun intended) up to be. There are many trappings that go hand in hand with fame and fortune, including unlimited access to drugs, alcohol and other illicit substances. Additionally, since artists are creative types, they often look to enhance their brains and their lives by drinking or doing drugs.

While addiction often has tragic consequences — the names are too numerous to list when it comes to the pop stars who’ve lost their battle with the addiction demon — there are also plenty of artists who’ve beaten their habit. Some went to rehab, while others kicked it cold turkey.

One thing is certain, though. Most addicts admit that it’s a daily struggle to stay sober and that they have to stay one step ahead of the demons.

Below are some of your favorite pop acts that have triumphed over addiction!


Lady Gaga

 
 

The Mother Mother doesn't hide her love for the green stuff –'ARTPOP' will reportedly boast a song called 'Mary Jane Holland' which references her affinity for pot. She did battle and beat a lust for cocaine, however. A new book claims she was a serious user and abuser of the white powdery stuff and she has been frank in the past, admitting that she had to stop doing hard drugs after her father expressed his disappointment. Gaga also sternly warned her little monsters against copying her past actions with coke.

 
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Fergie

 
 

The Black Eyed Peas songstress is candid about how she overcame her addiction to crystal meth and ecstasy. Fergie revealed to Oprah that she used every day in the early '00s and her weight plummeted to a dangerously skinny 90 pounds. The singer and shoe designer also battled bouts of paranoia and thought the FBI was pursuing her while in her drug-addled state. She maintained that she got clean after a conversation with God. With a happy marriage, a baby on the way and membership in a major band, Fergie has gone nowhere but up since kicking her habit.

 
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Eminem

 
 

Eminem has battled lots of addiction through his platinum plus-sized rap career. He had quite the affinity for prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien and Valium. While hooked on pills, he tried to rationalize that it was okay because it wasn't heroin, coke or other "hard" stuff. He didn't sleep so his weight ballooned well over 200 pounds. He also ODed on methadone at one point. Em has admitted that he knew it was get clean or die, and with two daughters to think of, he chose to get clean and went through a harrowing detox. He's a true inspiration for addicts worldwide!

 
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Macklemore

 
 

The rapper's addiction story is the opposite of most. He was an addict and alcoholic before fame knocked on his door. Macklemore has admitted that he almost slipped back into his previous habits when 'Thrift Shop' took off. It's been a constant struggle for him, but he remains clean despite nearly compromising his continued recovery. He did not find success overnight and he works as hard to stay clean and sober as he did to get to the top of the charts.

 
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Demi Lovato

 
 

Perhaps no pop star's rehab and recovery has been more documented or more celebrated than Demi Lovato's. The singer had no qualms about becoming a poster girl for getting over her issues, which included use of substances, cutting and self-harm. Her career has never been hotter – she's starting her second season at 'X Factor,' just won a role on 'Glee' and has enjoyed huge hits off her latest album 'Demi.' So using her experience to inspire others has worked out for her and her membership in the not-so-glamourous addiction club has paid numerous dividends. She has also admitted to steering clear of the party night llife in order to avoid temptation.

 
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

T.I.

 
 

Tip's addictions stemmed from pain meds he took after he endured major dental work. He endured extensive procedures – extractions, root canals and more. "After the pain went away, I kept taking it," T.I. said. "I had like five, six prescriptions. So, I had, like 80 pills. Everybody else might drink or smoke a blunt; I took a pain pill." He sought support from fellow rapper Eminem. "We talked a lot. I asked him how he knew he was an addict," Tip recalled. "Basically if you put yourself in harm's way... if you risk that, you've got to assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with your thought process." He has had his ups and downs along the way, but he has also been honest about it.

 
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Nick Carter A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys

 
 

The Backstreet Boys were a boy band with adult problems. Nick Carter battled drugs and alcohol for a decade. He licked the abuse issues, but ended up with cardiomyopathy, which is a weakened heart muscle. He remains clean and sober today. Bandmate McLean faced similar substance demons through his life, as well, going on record to say, "I will forever be an alcoholic and an addict in recovery as long as I live. It’s an ongoing struggle, a daily thing." He lapsed last year during the pressures of becoming a new father, but continues to work on his sobriety.

 
Janette Pellegrini
Janette Pellegrini

Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud

 
 

The singer of the Brit girl band had an issue with sleeping pills, which are just as dangerous as any illicit narcotic. "My drinking was out of control and I was addicted to sleeping pills," she has admitted. "It was an awful combination.” Harding used to down a bottle of wine for breakfast and confessed that she turned to alcohol and drugs in order to maintain pace with fame. She said, “The drinking was more to give me more confidence – especially when I was going through my little wild-child stage. It was trying to maintain that f—king image and got in trouble.” In 2011 she admitted herself to rehab clinic in South Africa.

 
Ben Pruchnie, Getty Images
Ben Pruchnie, Getty Images

Vanilla Ice

 
 

One of the biggest stars of the '90s -- and one of the most reviled after the public lost interest -- Vanilla Ice dealt with the up and down sides of fame. During the bacchanalia of his heyday, he enjoyed drug binges. In 2012, he said, "Basically, I had a weekend that lasted for years. When you have such success at a young age, you have all the money and fame in the world, and you can’t even buy yourself happiness. I didn’t know my purpose in life." In 2012, he professed to being completely clean and sober, confessing, "The last time I smoked marijuana was seven years ago, and I haven’t touched alcohol in 15 years. Plus, I’ve been a vegetarian for six." The man behind 'Ice Ice Baby' iced his addictions!

 
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Kid Cudi

 
 

Kid Cudi once admitted to doing bumps of coke to get through the day and then smoking weed to calm down. It was a terrible way to get through life and a near-lethal combination. He copped to "high-fiving death" a few times but you can only cheat death by doing drugs so many times. The star has since kicked his addiction right in the rump.

 
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

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