Billie Eilish is the latest guest on David Letterman’s popular in-depth interview series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Throughout the wide-ranging discussion, the 20-year-old Grammy winner walked through her recording process alongside her brother Finneas, recalled her childhood, her experience getting homeschooled, went go-karting and even gave Letterman an opportunity to try out autotune for the first time.
While chatting with the beloved television host and comedian, Eilish begins to move her head, which she explains is one of the tics associated with her Tourette’s diagnosis.
“If you film me for long enough, you’re going to see a lot of tics,” she tells Letterman.
According to the CDC, Tourette Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system that causes people to have have sudden, involuntary twitches, movements, or sounds repeatedly.
“It’s really weird, I haven’t talked about it at all,” Eilish replied when Letterman asked if it was OK to discuss her experience with Tourette’s. “The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny. They think I’m going [imitates tic] as a funny move. And so they go, ‘Ha,’ and I’m always left incredibly offended by that. Or they go [looks around] ‘What?’ and then I go, ‘I have Tourette’s.'”
Letterman then admits that he “was guilty of that,” thinking that “I’ve said something that’s pissed you off. I just thought, oh, she’s fed up with me.”
“That’s what funny,” Eilish explains. “So many people have it and you’d never know. A couple artists have come forward and said, ‘I’ve always had Tourette’s.’ And I’m not going to out them because they don’t want to talk about it. But that was really interesting to me because I was like, ‘You do? What?'”
“I’m very happy to talk about it,” she continues. “I actually really like answering questions about it because it’s really interesting, and I am incredibly confused by it. I don’t get it.”
The “Happier Than Ever” singer then recalls that she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when she was 11 years old. “I never don’t tic at all, because the main tics that I do are constantly, like, I wiggle my ear back and forth and raise my eyebrow and click my jaw and flex this arm here and this arm there,” she says. “These are things you would never notice if you’re having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting.”
While Eilish admitted that she use to “damn” her symptoms, she now feel like they are “part” of her. “I have made friends with it, so now I’m pretty confident in it,” she explains.
Watch Eilish and Letterman’s full conversation on Netflix.