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Lewis Capaldi opens up about worsening Tourette’s tics while he’s on stage

The singer revealed he was diagnosed with the condition last year

Kate Ng
Sunday 02 April 2023 11:21 BST
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Lewis Capaldi fans take over singing for him as he 'struggles with Tourette's symptoms'

Lewis Capaldi has revealed that his Tourette’s symptoms have been “getting quite bad” when he is performing on-stage.

The Brit Award-winning singer first revealed he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome in September. The condition causes him to make involuntary sounds and movements known as tics.

Capaldi, 25, opens up about the symptoms in his new Netflix documentary and said he experienced shoulder twitches that “became out of control” before he was diagnosed.

In a new interview, the Scottish singer-songwriter said his tics are getting worse when he is on stage.

“I’m trying to get on top of that,” he told The Times in an interview published on Saturday evening (1 April). “If I can’t, I’m f***ed.

“It’s easier when I play guitar, but I hate playing guitar. I know, I’m a walking contradiction.”

In Capaldi’s new film, Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now, he said that getting diagnosed “makes complete sense now, when I look back”.

“This twitch became out of control and it was awful. It was absolutely horrific,” he explained. “I started to get in my head about these pressures. ‘F***, there’s skin in the game now’. Rather than me just singing my silly little songs. Other people are depending on me.”

When he went public with his diagnosis, Capaldi said he did so because he “didn’t want people to think I was taking cocaine or something”.

Lewis Capaldi performing at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on 14 January 2023

In an Instagram Live session, he told fans: “My shoulder twitches when I am excited, happy, nervous, or stressed. It is something I am living with. It’s not as bad as it looks.”

Last month, during a performance in Germany, the “Someone You Loved” singer appeared to struggle with his tic but his fans stepped in to help him out by continuing to sing his song.

A video filmed by a member of the audience captured the moment he stepped back from the microphone and fans picked up the song without missing a beat.

Elsewhere in his recent interview, Capaldi said that if he does “irreparable damage” to himself by continuing to perform, he will “have to pack music in”.

“It’s only music that does this to me. Otherwise I can be fine for months at a time,” he said. “So it’s a weird situation.

“Right now, the trade-off is worth it. But if it gets to a point where I’m doing irreparable damage to myself, I’ll quit. I hate hyperbole but it is a very real possibility that I will have to pack music in.”

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