Billie Eilish shared what it’s like living with Tourette’s Syndrome in a recent interview with David Letterman for his Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Videos by American Songwriter
After experiencing a tic on camera during the interview, Eilish opened up about navigating the neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable movements and urges. The singer who was diagnosed at age 11, says most people respond insensitively when they notice her tics during social interactions.
“The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny…and I’m always left incredibly offended by that,” Eilish said.
Though most of Eilish’s tics are hardly noticeable to anyone but her, the 20-year-old singer said that to her the syndrome is “exhausting.”
“These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting,” she explained. “It’s not like I like it, but it’s part of me. I have made friends with it. And so now, I’m pretty confident in it.”
After finding fame, Eilish found that the disorder is much more common than she thought.
“What’s funny is so many people have it that you would never know,” Eilish said. “A couple of artists came forward and said, ‘I’ve actually always had Tourette’s,’ and I’m not gonna out them because they don’t wanna talk about it, but that was actually really interesting to me.”
The Happier than Ever singer went on to reveal that she doesn’t experience tics at all while performing onstage. “When I’m moving around, I’m not even ticcing at all,” she said.
After Letterman thanked Eilish for sharing her experience, she added, “I actually really love answering questions about it because it’s very, very interesting. And I am incredibly confused by it, and I don’t get it.”
You can watch the full interview with Eilish now on Netflix. Other topics include co-writing with her brother Finneas, recording Happier Than Ever, and her experience finding fame. Find the trailer below.
Photo by Kelia Anne MacCluskey