London, Nov 7 (IANS) Legendary Grammy winning singer Elton John has been felicitated by Harvard Foundation for his contribution in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The 70-year-old musician received the prestigious Peter J Gomes Humanitarian Award, reports people.com.
In his acceptance speech, John said drugs had turned him into a "monster" and it was a wake-up call for him when he ended up losing many friends to substance abuse.
"My passion and commitment to music opened up imaginable doors and took me to new heights in life. But once I hit the pinnacle, happiness became elusive and darkness crept in. I lost my own humanity in an excess of drugs, alcoholism, and eating disorders," he said.
John, who has been sober for 27 years now, said he believes humanity is the most powerful force in the world that can help people shun drugs and embrace the brighter side of life.
"Through my career and humanitarian work, I've seen how people can be pulled together. The human spirit is the most powerful thing in the world, and when it embraces kindness and does good things, wonderful things happen.
"Nothing is more profound or powerful than recognising our common humanity. I know how easy it is to despair. We can rise above it and lift people up. This period of darkness we're going through right now is the period right before the light we will all treasure," he said.
The "Your Song" hitmaker had started Elton John AIDS Foundation in the early 1990s dedicated to the cause that continues to help people around the globe.