"Voice" Star Says Meth Use Led to HIV
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Bronx singer Jamar Rogers is taking his shot at music stardom on NBC’s The Voice. The 29-year-old struggled with addiction to crystal meth; he's been sober for six years, but sadly contracted HIV through his past drug use. “I really do believe I’m the comeback kid,” said Rogers, just before taking the stage to perform the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" well enough to get judge Cee Lo Green to take him on to his team. This isn’t the first time Rogers has been seen on TV; three years ago he auditioned for American Idol. The producers there knew of his past drug use, but not of his HIV diagnosis. "I did talk to them about the drug use. I was very candid...But I was not in a comfortable place to talk about being HIV-positive. I was worried that the producers would find out, and I hadn't come to terms with it myself,” said Rogers. “I had to finally just stand up and face the music. And one of the ways I did that was by volunteering at some amazing organizations in New York that dealt with people who were living with HIV, and I began to see other human faces for it, and it began to change my own prejudices." Since his audition aired Monday night, the singer has been overwhelmed by supportive messages from fans. “I can't believe I was scared for so long,” he says. “Because people...are so supportive, man, and I just can't believe it. I can't believe how cool people are being."