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Matt Lauer Interviews Elton John on TODAY, 7/17-18

Entertainment legend Sir Elton John sits down with TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview about his first-ever memoir, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS. John speaks candidly about the personal toll AIDS has taken on his life, and his passion for his work in the fight against the disease. He also opens up about his struggle with drugs, alcohol and bulimia, and he reveals deeply personal details about going public with his own sexuality.

The interview, which took place at John's home outside of London, will air on NBC's TODAY in two parts, today and Wednesday July 17 and 18.

The sale of Love is the Cure will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). Founded in 1992, EJAF has raised $275 million to fight the AIDS epidemic and to help those affected by it.

Excerpts from the interview airing today, July 17 and tomorrow, July 18 on NBC's TODAY follow:

Elton John:

I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s. And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and center 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.

Matt Lauer:

Here's how you write about it in the book, "I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the me generation had ended."

Elton John:

Yeah.

Matt Lauer:

You feel guilty about it?

Elton John:

I do.

Matt Lauer:

Don't you think you've made up for it?

Elton John:

I'm making up for it. There is so much more to be done.

John on his sexuality and when he came out:

Matt Lauer:

Did you have any fears about how it might impact your career?

Elton John:

No, it-- I honestly didn't. And it-- to be honest with you, it did a little bit. In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn't play me. It didn't have any effect like the Dixie Chicks had when they made the anti-Iraq statements and their career was ruined. So by me saying gay in the 1970s-- it didn't have a big effect on me whatsoever.


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