12 recovery icons: Alice Cooper to Smokey Robinson
As MusiCares' flagship addiction recovery resource, the MAP Fund provides members of the music community access to treatment regardless of their financial situation.
To help raise funding for this life-changing program, a MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert is held annually. Among the awards bestowed at the event is the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, which recognizes a recording artist for their devotion to helping other addicts with the recovery process.
Through 2017, the award has honored these 12 musicians for making a difference in the music community.
Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction), 2005
Find out which musicians have made a mark on the music community worthy of the MusiCares MAP Fund Stevie Ray Vaughan AwaBest known recently from television's "Ink Master," Navarro's rock and roll panache almost obscures his top-level guitar playing. He co-founded rock band Jane's Addiction and played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for One Hot Minute, but the Southern California native is also a compassionate addiction recovery champion in the music community. A portion of the proceeds from Navarro's 2004 best-selling memoir, Don't Try This At Home, were contributed to the MusiCares MAP Fund.
James Hetfield (Metallica), 2006
Truly a metal legend, Hetfield has topped sales charts with Metallica worldwide alongside drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich since 1983. However, with song titles such as "Fade To Black," "Master Of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman," some anger and torment was more than just part of the show. Now sober for more than 15 years, few sobriety ambassadors have reached out to more people than the gravel-voiced Hetfield, who relies on his guitar and music to keep his own recovery on track. "Playing music saves my life," he said.
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), 2007
Cornell's distinct voice and enormous heart had a pervasive influence on modern music, which will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. While his dedication to his craft was legendary, Cornell did much more than delight audiences with his songs. The Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation was established in 2012 to "protect the most vulnerable children" who are victims of abuse. No stranger to hardship, the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman said, "I myself, I've been in different situations throughout my life … so it's great to be able to be there and try and help someone else."
Alice Cooper, 2008
Known as an extreme showman who pioneered shock-rock exhibitionism onstage, Cooper is a true ambassador for sober living. While he hasn't completely abandoned his rock and roll persona, the "School's Out" legend is a lighthouse many have sought to help stay off the rocks. In 1995 Cooper, his wife Sheryl and Chuck Savale started Solid Rock, a foundation and teen center that aims to provide at-risk teenagers a safe home in the performing arts during nonschool hours.
Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), 2009
Kiedis' personal and creative struggles have fused with the GRAMMY-winning Red Hot Chili Peppers' driving musical messages across the entire span of their career. After an early exposure to drugs, and years spent battling his addictions, Kiedis found a new path of healing and service to others following a 2000 visit to Narcotics Anonymous, a MusiCares partner. Kiedis has since shared his experiences in his 2005 memoir, Scar Tissue, in which he underscores the importance of music in his sobriety: "I think art is inherently nonviolent and it actually occupies your mind with creation rather than destruction."
Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), 2011
Through Depeche Mode's respected signature sound and electrifying tours, Gahan continues to attract new listeners. As he closed his MAP Fund benefit performance in 2011 with "Personal Jesus," the audience could feel his journey — taken several times — back from the edge of addiction. "The MusiCares MAP Fund is an unbelievably important and courageous organization," said Gahan. "They continue to make a momentous commitment to the music community."
Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), 2012
Cantrell's complete talent as a singer, songwriter and guitar player helped established Alice In Chains as one of the forefathers of the Seattle sound alongside Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. He spoke with pride about receiving an award named for Vaughan, himself an influential guitarist who struggled with addiction. During the MAP Fund benefit in 2012, Cantrell outlined his appreciation for sobriety. "It's cool to know that you can get here," said the writer of songs such as "Rooster," "Man In The Box" and "Nutshell." "It's nice to be [proof] that no matter where you find yourself in life you've always got a chance to turn it around."
Chester Bennington (Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots), 2013
Expressing contagious artistic happiness was one of the few constructive paths forward for Bennington, who in various interviews has revealed he weathered a difficult childhood. Millions treasure the songwriting truth that launched GRAMMY winners Linkin Park internationally, as their 2000 debut Hybrid Theory got ears hooked on its message of struggle and courage. With songs like "Numb" and "In The End," Bennington has always written what he knows, and now that includes his thoughts on recovery. "It's cool to be a part of recovery," he told Spin. "This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I've been going through in one way or another."
Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath), 2014
Recognition arrived with a twist for this creative genius. As a member of Black Sabbath, Osbourne's experimentation moved the face of music and helped launch metal as a genre. While his music has always teetered on the darker side, the "Crazy Train" singer ultimately found a road home with the aid of people like his wife, Sharon Osbourne. "I know firsthand about the ravages of addiction and I also know that the MusiCares MAP Fund is a vital safety net for people in the music industry who need help with substance abuse," said Osbourne. "This organization literally saves lives."
Pete Townshend (the Who), 2015
A towering rock legend of 20th-century guitar, Townshend is best known as the mastermind behind Who albums such as Quadrophenia and Tommy. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist and successful solo artist, Townshend struggled with addiction and shared with the world the work he put in to get sober. To him, the uphill battle was worth it. "The reason I am able to get up onstage and do this tour with the Who and still put on a fairly good show is because of the 30 years I have been clean and sober," said Townshend during his MAP Fund speech.
Smokey Robinson, 2016
As a songwriter, music executive and performer, few lives have shaped American music with an impact like Robinson. The Miracles' smooth, hopeful outlooks on life and love helped he and Motown Records' Berry Gordy conquer the world. When addiction entered his life, Robinson said, "I thought that it couldn't happen to me." The R&B legend credits a prayerful visit to church in 1986 for getting his footing and the benefits of a good diet and meditation for keeping him "Cruisin'" on the healing path.
Adam Clayton (U2), 2017
Through the years of U2's stellar success, bassist Clayton has capably held down the bottom end amid Bono's vocal wails and the Edge's signature guitar flourishes. He notes that helping hands reached out to him when he had succumbed to addiction, and now gratitude motivates him to extend his help to others. "As someone who has been through rehab and recovery, I absolutely acknowledge that lots of people run into difficulty with addiction," Clayton said. "My experience is that people in rehab and recovery are actually very courageous. It's great to know you can have a second chance."