Lewis Capaldi Might 'Quit' Music Career If His Tourette's Syndrome Worsens

4 April 2023 | 9:20 am | Mary Varvaris

“I hate hyperbole, but it is a very real possibility that I will have to pack music in.”

(Pic by Alexandra Gavillet)

More Lewis Capaldi More Lewis Capaldi

Since receiving his Tourette’s syndrome diagnosis last year, Scottish pop star Lewis Capaldi has been candid with his fans about his tribulations with the neurological disorder. 

In February, fan-captured footage showed the Before You Go singer affected by head and shoulder tics. The audience sang while Capaldi stepped away from the microphone, returning to sing after the tics subsided.

In a new interview with The Sun, he claimed the symptoms are worsening and said, “If it got to a point where my quality of life was drastically diminished, I’d just have to quit.

“You can probably see it now — I’m twitching a lot ahead of this record. It’s weird because I wasn’t doing it as much on the first album, but I wasn’t as stressed,” the singer explained earlier in the interview, citing the pressure around his second album for the worsening Tourette’s symptoms.

Capaldi admitted that when he’s “hammered,” the tics subside. 

“I’m not in control of it at all. There have been times in recent weeks on stage where it’s been really bad, but I have to just get on with it — as lots of people do with other things,” he continued, sharing that people around him have asked if he’s high on drugs when the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome appear.

Capaldi also addressed his current predicament in a recent interview with The Times. “It’s only making music that does this to me, otherwise I can be fine for months at a time, so it’s a weird situation,” he shared. “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.”

He added, “I hate hyperbole, but it is a very real possibility that I will have to pack music in.”

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 5 April), Capaldi’s documentary, How I'm Feeling Now, which explores his rise to stardom amid a Tourette’s syndrome diagnosis, will premiere on Netflix. 

Fellow pop sensation Billie Eilish was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome when she was 11. She explained that when focusing on tasks like singing or horse riding, her symptoms subside.

Featuring in an episode of My Next Guest with David Letterman last year, she said, “I never don't tic at all, because the main tics that I do constantly, all day long, are like, I wiggle my ear back and forth and raise my eyebrow and click my jaw ... and flex my arm here and flex this arm, flex these muscles. 

“These are things you would never notice if you're just having a conversation with me, but for me, they're very exhausting.”