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Last night, Elton said he wasn’t a very nice person for a long time.


For 16 years, he explained, he was a self-centered drug addict. ”But I’m OK now,” he added.

Elton was at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Celebration of American Philanthropy, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for the work of his AIDS foundation.

The vocalist sat opposite Michael O’Neill, the chairman of Citigroup, Inc., a fan of Candle in the Wind, and Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development, who said he preferred Rocket Man.

“I always cried when I heard it as a kid,” Donovan said.

Thomas Perez, secretary of labour, said he likes Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

The event drew the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Judith Rodin, and Rockefellers including Jay Rockefeller, a senator, and David Rockefeller Jr., the organisation’s chairman.

“This organization has a long association with people named John,” David Rockefeller Jr.,told the guest of honor, referring to his great-grandfather,John D. Rockefeller, and grandfather, John Rockefeller Sr.

John said he was inspired by the Rockefeller Foundation’s historic campaign to eradicate hookworm and other diseases.