RUN DMC’s Darryl McDaniels Says Sarah McLachlan Saved His Life

By Robyn Collins

(RADIO.COM) – Back in 1997, Run DMC member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was severely depressed and contemplated taking his life. He might even have done so if it hadn’t been for a Sarah McLachlan song, which gave him new hope, he writes in his memoir, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide.

“I was probably at my suicidal worst in 1997 during a two-week-long tour in Japan. The only song I listened to then was a soft-pop ballad by Sarah McLachlan called ‘Angel,’” he writes in an excerpt published by People. “I cannot overemphasize how important that song was to me in the midst of my depression. ‘Angel’ kept me serene even when every fiber of my person was screaming for me to lose it [and] made me believe that I could soldier through.”

McDaniels was sober at the time, but soon found himself battling alcohol addiction as well as an identity crisis. Then he lost his voice and the band was frequently fighting.

“Whatever my hesitations about suicide, I sometimes think I would have done the deed easily if it weren’t for that record,” McDaniels continues. “I thought long and hard about killing myself every day in Japan. I tricked myself into thinking that my family might be better off without me. I considered jumping out of a window. I thought about going to a hardware store to buy poison to ingest. I thought about putting a gun to my temple. Whenever I’d listen to ‘Angel,’ though, I always managed to make my way back from the brink.”

He continued: “It would be too simple to say that song got rid of all my negative feelings. it couldn’t rid me of the wounds. ‘Angel’ was like a life-preserver tossed to me during a storm. It didn’t pull me out of the water, but it did help me stay afloat until other help came along.”

McDaniels met McLachlan that same year at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys party and introduced himself to the Canadian singer-songwriter, thanking her for unknowingly helping him fight off his suicidal thoughts.

Years later, the two met again and recorded an updated cover of Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” an important step in McDaniels’ recovery process.

During that session, they discovered something else in common. They were both adopted. The song, “Just Like Me,” was released in 2006 as a tribute to foster children.

©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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