Pop Culture

Steven Tyler: 'American Idol' was like my new drug

Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images file / Today

Girls. Hard partying. Drugs. Rehab. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler truly lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle before becoming a judge on the family friendly "American Idol" in 2010. The singing competition was such a far cry from the image the rockstar had cultivated over the years that his participation in the show not only surprised Aerosmith and "Idol" fans, but irked his bandmates as well.

So why do it?

In an interview published in the latest issue of TIME magazine, Tyler explained that the risk of his joining "Idol" played a factor.

"I'm one of those people that -- obviously, since I've wound up in rehab eight times -- take dangerous things and jump in with both feet," he said. 

When asked if "Idol" was his substitute for heroin, he told the publication, "I think so. I think I'm addicted to adrenaline. It was a risky thing."

And it was a gamble that paid off. Sure, Tyler said "the band was pissed, looking for other singers" after he announced his new gig. "But then they found out that (Tyler judging "Idol") brought the catalog up 270 percent." His spot at the judges table -- as well as his performances of Aerosmith tunes on the show -- had introduced the band to a much younger generation.

But despite the new success the "Idol" exposure brought to the band, Tyler announced on July 12 that he was leaving the show to return to his "first love, Aerosmith."

"It's television. It's not my forte," the rocker told TIME.

How do you think Steven Tyler did overall during his stint on "Idol"? Tell us on our Facebook page.



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