Billie Eilish talks about living and accepting the Tourette syndrome.
During an episode of season four of My Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Billie Eilish appeared and spoke about living with her Tourette syndrome. According to Cedars Siani, Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to make unintended sounds, words, and body movements that are referred to as tics.
The Grammy-winning singer shared with David Letterman that if they were going to film her for a longer period, they were going to see a lot of tics and added that people who are not familiar with Tourette syndrome usually do not understand when it happens at the moment, and they end up laughing as they think that she is genuinely trying to be funny. She told him about her syndrome after she jerked her head to one side and he asked her if the fly was bugging her, to which she said that no, she was ticking.
Billie said that the people who witness her think that she is trying to imitate to act funny and they go like "ha," which sort of offends her, or the people go like "what," and she tells them that she has Tourette syndrome. The singer thanked the host for asking her about her syndrome and mentioned that she feels nice to talk about it since it’s very interesting and she is mostly confused by it and she does not get a lot of it, so it feels nice to her when she talks about it.
Billie Eilish shared during the interview that she was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and explained that the main tics that she does are things like wiggling her ear back and forth, raising her eyebrow, clicking her jaw, flexing her arms and muscles. Billie added that these are the things that someone would never notice when they’re having a conversation with her, but for her they are exhausting.
The singer, who was recently one of the opening performers at Coachella 2022, shared that when she is performing or focusing on singing or songwriting, she does not tic. She concluded that she has accepted Tourette syndrome as a part of herself, has been friends with it for a while, and has grown to be confident in it. During her interview, Billie also mentioned that it’s almost funny that so many people have it that one could never imagine. She revealed that a couple of artists came forward with the diagnosis, but since they didn’t want to talk about it, she did not mention them but added that it was interesting for her to know about them.
This is not the first time Billie Eilish was speaking about her syndrome in 2019 when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show she told Ellen that everyone close to her is aware of it but she has never said it publicly because she does not want it to define her. During the interview with David Letterman, Billie takes him to a process of making music which she described as vocal comping. According to reports and studies, over 30,000 children and adults are living with Tourette syndrome in the United Kingdom.
David Letterman's series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is available for streaming on Netflix and is going to feature artists including Cardi B, Kevin Durant, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ryan Reynolds, and Will Smith.