On the same day he released his single “Lie, Lie, Lie” in January High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett was fighting for his life. In a GQ interview published this week, Bassett revealed that what he initially thought was a bad case of food poisoning was actually something much more serious.
“[I] started getting very ill, and it kept getting worse,” the 20 year-old singer told the mag, revealing that he first began feeling unwell just two days after Olivia Rodrigo released her smash hit “Drivers License.” That song, of course, is the one that set off speculation about a possible love triangle involving him and his HSMTMTS co-star Rodrigo and singer Sabrina Carpenter. But as rumors swirled, Bassett had much more serious concerns.
“I thought it was, like, food poisoning or whatever. It got worse, it got worse, it got worse, it got worse,” he said. Bassett was hospitalized on January 14 in what he described as “unimaginable pain,” though he declined to go into detail about what caused him to suffer from what doctors said was a potentially lethal combination of septic shock and heart failure that prompted them to tell him that he had a 30% chance of survival.
“They told me that if I had not checked into the hospital within 12 hours, I would have been found [dead] in my apartment,” Bassett said, noting that he was pretty sure that “stress had a part in it.” And even as social media blew up with speculation about what was ailing him, Bassett said he “didn’t have any energy to be able to focus on anything but staying alive.”
Bassett has released a string of singles since then, including “Only a Matter of Time,” “Telling Myself” and “Feel Something,” and he teased to GQ that there is a “hypothetical” collection of songs that could come out at some point that might “divulge some of his more intimate feelings about his past 12 months.” But, given all the drama, Bassett said he’s had a hard time writing, “just because it’s been so painful, and I’ve had a hard time facing it in the way that I need to.” Check out the full interview here.