Adam Clayton has credited guitarist Eric Clapton, The Who's Pete Townshend and his U2 bandmates for helping him kick alcoholism.

The bassist thanked the legendary rockers, as well as his fellow U2 stars, for advising him to stop drinking and helping him along the recovery process as he received an award on Monday in New York by MusiCares, a foundation he supports that helps musicians get treatment for addiction.

Taking to the stage, the 57-year-old U2 star joked: "I'm not used to achieving anything on my own."

His speech quickly became heartfelt and frank. "I'm an alcoholic, addict, but in some ways that devastating disease is what drove me towards this wonderful life I now have", he said. "It's just that I couldn't take my friend alcohol. At some point I had to leave it behind and claim my full potential."

Clayton said he thought his life as a rock star would be over if he gave up drinking as so much of their careers revolve around the  night.

"But two heroes of mine were there for me and it meant a great deal that they would try to convince me otherwise," he said.

"After two particularly destructive benders Eric Clapton was there on the end of the phone. He didn't sugar-coat it, he told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn't regret it.

"He gave me the name of a treatment centre and the power to make a call to them. And whilst I was going through that five-week programme, Pete Townshend visited me and again put steel on my back."

Clayton added: "I was lucky because I had three friends who could see what was going on and who loved me enough to take up the slack of my failings.

"Bono, The Edge and Larry (Mullen Jr) truly supported me before and after I entered recovery and I am unreservedly grateful for their friendship, understanding and support."

U2 played three songs at the event, Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Vertigo and I Will Follow.

 

 

The event also featured performances by rapper Michael Franti, Jack Garratt, reggae singer Chronixx, Macy Gray, and The Lumineers, who are currently appearing with U2 on their Joshua Tree tour.