Steven Tyler "Snorted Half of Peru"

By Ben Feuerherd 02/22/13

The now-sober rocker says he once blew through $5-6 million in cocaine.

Will Peru ever recover? Photo via

We all knew that Steven Tyler blew through a lot of blow back in the day. But what we didn't know is that he actually inhaled half of Peru—one of the world's top cocaine producing countries. The rocker's recent memoir states that he spent close to $20 million on drugs throughout his career. In a recent interview with Australia's 60 Minutes, Tyler says that number is an exaggeration, but his actual guess is nothing to scoff at: "Probably, realistically, [it was closer to] 5 or 6 [million], easy," he says. "But it doesn't matter. You could also say I snorted half of Peru, but, you know, it's what we did." The Aerosmith front man and current American Idol judge has made no secret of his past drug use and struggles to get sober, including numerous stints in rehab. "I needed that cocaine. I needed it," he told Today in 2011. "It took my children away, it took my marriages away. I was on my knees." After getting clean in the 1980s, Tyler relapsed after getting addicted to medication he was taking to treat hepatitis C. In 2009, he checked himself into rehab for the eighth time, and says he has been sober ever since. Tyler has said his Idol gig satiates his one remaining addiction: "I think I'm addicted to adrenaline," he said last year. "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."

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter