At 21, Billie Eilish is headlining the Main Stage East at Reading Festival on Sunday, August 27.
In a candid interview with David Letterman on his Netflix show, My Guest Needs No Introduction, Billie opened up about Tourette syndrome.
“If you film me for long enough, you’re gonna see lots of tics,” she said.
“These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me,” Billie added, “but for me, they’re very exhausting.”
Revealing that most people laugh at her when a tic occurs, assuming she is trying to be funny, Billie is actually “incredibly offended”.
“What is funny, is so many people have it that you would never know,” Billie 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.”
What is Tourette’s syndrome?
The NHS explains: “Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.”
Examples of physical tics include:
- Eye rolling
- Shoulder shrugging
- Jerking of the head or limbs
- Touching objects and other people.
- Vocal tics can include:
- Throat clearing
- Tongue clicking
- Animal sounds
- Saying random words and phrases
- Repeating a sound, word or phrase
Typically beginning in childhood, the tics tend to improve over time.
However, when feeling stressed, anxious or tired, tics may worsen.
The health body adds: “Most people with Tourette’s syndrome experience a strong urge before a tic.”
This sensation has been compared to the powerful urge to itch or sneeze.
When people concentrate they are able to control their tics, but it can be “tiring”, the NHS says.
There is no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, but behavioural therapy and medication are available.