Nile Rodgers got sober because he worried his lifestyle would destroy his musical ability.
The Chic guitarist - who is expected to perform with Pharrell Williams at tonight's (02.19.14) BRIT Awards - admits drugs used to be an "important" part of his life, but he quit his habits because his career meant more to him than partying.
He said: "I felt that that would be an impingement on my ability to play music.
"I remember reading an article by Keith Richards saying he could live without drugs but he couldn't live without music and I feel exactly the same way.
"My life revolved around music but drugs were an important component, just as much so as any intellectual property or breathing or eating food."
Nile realized he needed to get sober when his behavior at Madonna's 35th birthday party stunned his friends.
He told Metro newspaper: "As of Madonna's next birthday, if I'm lucky, it will be 20 years since I've had a drink or drug in my body, which is the most remarkable, incredible thing.
"It was her party down in Miami Beach. I remember it not because I have a conscious memory of it but because everybody filled in the blanks for me when I was writing my autobiography.
"I have first-hand testimonies from people who were completely aware and sober going, 'Oh my God Nile we've never seen you like that', and that was all I needed to hear, people that I trusted telling me for all intents and purposes I had gone mad."