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25 July 2018, 14:05
"You can't help people who don't want to help themselves."
George passed away from natural causes aged just 53, but his death has been linked with a previous battle with alcohol and drug abuse.
"You can't help people who don't want to help themselves, I've learnt that as an addict and I'm 28 years clean and sober," Sir Elton told Channel 4 News.
"When people told me when I was using, that I was doing the wrong thing I would get so angry and tell them to go away, or stronger language than that."
Sir Elton and husband David Furnish have been raising awareness of a new campaign named MenStar, to encourage young men to undergo testing for HIV.
"When I said a couple of things and he did a whole page interview in Heat magazine saying I should shut up, I understood what his reaction is," he added.
"Addiction is a horrible thing... and there's nothing you can do until you actually say, 'Ok I'm going to do something, I need help'.
"It took me 16 years to say it."
Sit Elton and George famously recorded a live version of 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me', giving them both one of their biggest hits in 1991.