Billie Eilish isn’t one to censor herself; In the past few months alone, the pop megastar has boldly expressed her secret battle with COVID-19, how exposure to pornography at a young age affected her, and her anger at restrictive abortion laws. But more recently, during her appearance on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, Eilish discussed a topic she’s virtually never addressed in interviews before: her experience with Tourette’s syndrome.
It didn’t look like Eilish necessarily planned to talk about Tourette – who she said was diagnosed when she was 11 – but the topic naturally came up after a change in set lighting triggered one of her tics had provoked. “If you film me long enough, you’re going to see a lot of tics,” Eilish explained. “I don’t care. It’s really weird, I haven’t talked about it at all. The most common reaction people have is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny. They think I am [ticcing] as, like, a funny move… And I’m always incredibly offended by it.”
The “Happier Than Ever” singer continued, “What’s funny is that so many people have it, you’d never know. A couple of artists came up and said, “I’ve actually always had Tourette.” And I’m not going to come out because they don’t want to talk about it, but that was really interesting to me. I thought, ‘You do?! What?'”
“I hope to god what we did didn’t make this worse,” Letterman said, thanking Eilish after the unexpected change of subject. “I do not know anything about it [Tourette’s].” Eilish replied, “I’m really happy to answer questions about it because it’s very, very interesting. And I’m incredibly confused by it, and I don’t understand it.”
Most of Eilish’s tics, like wiggling her ear or twitching her arm muscles, are unnoticeable to anyone but her. “These are things that you would never notice if you just talked to me, but they are very draining for me,” she explained. “It’s not that I like it, but it’s a part of me. I’ve made friends with it. And now I’m pretty confident about it.”
You can now watch Eilish’s full episode of My Next Guest on Netflix.
After pulling off some memorable sets at Coachella last month, Eilish is now on the UK leg of her ‘Happier Than Ever Tour’, which also includes a headlining gig at Glastonbury. Check ticket availability for their headlining performances at Ticketmaster.
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