Music veteran Elton John has admitted that he "wasted a big part" of his life using drugs such as cocaine.

The 65-year-old battled addictions to both alcohol and cocaine until 1990, and wishes he had become clean sooner so he could have fully enjoyed the earlier part of his career.

He told Matt Lauer on US TV’s Today show: "I wasted such a big part of my life. I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and centre 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."

It’s not the first time that he’s spoken in public about his demons. In a 2010 interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories he admitted: "I never considered myself a drug addict.

"I thought drug addicts were people who stuck needles in their arms - and I was the biggest junkie there was. I came very close to dying.

“I'd have an epileptic seizure and turn blue and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I'd be snorting another line.”