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Lewis Capaldi reveals Tourette syndrome diagnosis

The Glaswegian singer-songwriter broke the news on Instagram

By Joe Goggins

Lewis Capaldi, 2019
Capaldi is poised for a comeback. (Photo: Harald Krichel/Wikimedia Commons)

Lewis Capaldi has confirmed that he has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.

The 25-year-old Glaswegian broke the news to fans on an Instagram Live stream yesterday (September 6), saying that the diagnosis “makes so much sense”. Having looked back as far as promotional appearances that predate his multi-platinum-selling debut album, 2019’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, Capaldi is now able to spot the telltale signs of the condition.

“When I look back at my interviews from 2018, I can see that I’m doing it,” he said. He went on to explain that his decision to make the news public was because he “didn’t want people to think I was taking cocaine or something.” He had initially worried that his symptoms were indicative of “some horrible degenerative disease,” before a true diagnosis was made.

“My shoulder twitches when I am excited, happy, nervous or stressed,” he said of the syndrome’s presentation. “It is something I am living with.” Capaldi confirmed that he is treating the condition with Botox injections, and that he is “learning new ways to cope all the time.”

The news comes as the singer-songwriter is poised for his post-pandemic comeback, having kicked it off in earnest with two sell-out shows at London’s O2 Arena earlier this week after a smattering of festival appearances over the summer. His first new single since 2019, ‘Forget Me’, is released on Friday (September 9).

Capaldi is not the only pop star to be diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, which affects in the region of 300,000 people in the UK. Four years ago, Billie Eilish revealed that she had been diagnosed with it as a child. “I’ve never mentioned [Tourette syndrome] on the internet because nobody thinks I’m deadass,” she wrote on her Instagram story after compilations of her tics, caused by the condition, began to circulate online.

She elaborated on her experiences with Tourette’s earlier this year, in an interview with David Letterman, describing her tics as “things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting.”

“So many people how it that you would never know,” she continued. “A couple artists came forward and said, ‘I’ve actually always had Tourette’s’.”