The One, 1992
I'm rehabbed. When did I know it was time? I knew subliminally in 1989, when I auctioned off all my stuff at Sotheby's. My marriage had finished, I didn't have a partner, I was miserable. I thought, "Right, I'm gonna cleanse myself of all these possessions for a start, and I'm gonna start making my house at Woodside into a real home instead of a fucking pop star's house with gold records on the wall. I'm going to have a human life." I was still taking drugs, but living a more humane life. Six months later, my partner at the time was in rehab in Arizona. I knew when I visited what was going to happen. He had a counselor, I had a counselor, we faced each other knee to knee, we wrote a list of what we thought was wrong with each other. My list was so puny – like, he didn't put his CD covers back in the right place. He said I was a drug addict, a bulimic, a sex addict, a food addict, an overeater, an alcoholic. I said, "You know what? You're absolutely right. I give in. I surrender." I came out of rehab and, you know, it's astonishing when you think of the chain of events. Everything came alive again. The hope. Everything. Music never left my side.
Sobriety allows you to let things go. I've had so many things happen to me in sobriety that normally would have freaked me out: the turmoil of having to break up with my manager, having money stolen, stuff like that. Sobriety lets you focus on the now and not the past, and I've never had any regrets. Since I got sober, nothing bad has happened to me. Things happen, you fall out with people, but I've been given the tools to deal with it, and I've had the luck of having David [Furnish] as a great partner to help me deal with it, and good business people. I love my life now. I loved my life before, I just didn't know how to live it.
I went to Paris to make The One, and it was a strange experience. I was used to making records under the haze of alcohol or drugs, and here I was, 100 percent sober, so it was tough. But I managed to come up with a good song, which was the title of the record. "The North" I love a lot; that's my favorite song without question. Then, of course, afterward, The Lion King came along and all hell broke loose.