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Billie Eilish Opened Up About Living With Tourette Syndrome While Being In The Spotlight

Musician Billie Eilish is a pure delight.

She recently sat down with Ellen to talk about the weirdness of fame, her fans, and a topic that she hadn't discussed before: her Tourette Syndrome.

Having a disorder in the public eye can be hard — but for Billie, having it out in the open turned out to be a great thing.

Her interview with Ellen started pretty normally.

YouTube | TheEllenShow

Before they dove into the deep stuff, Ellen asked Billie about her high-profile fans.

And she means high profile. Among Billie's admirers are Julia Roberts, Sam Smith, Thom York, and Dave Grohl.

In fact, Dave Grohl was in the audience.

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Billie said having fans in them was "unreal."

"I don't know, I feel like, recently I've met a lot of people that my parents grew up as fans of. You know? That's no disrespect to your age...Dave," she joked.

She also met up with Stella McCartney.

While talking with the famed designer, Billie had a wild encounter.

"I was even in a meeting with Stella McCartney, and she FaceTimed her dad, which is Paul McCartney."

Oh no big deal, just FaceTiming with Paul McCartney.

She interrupted her story for a quick second.

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"You know my mom cried. My dad cried. Your eyes are so beautiful."

Honestly, if I was sitting in front of Ellen, I'd probably interrupt my own story to compliment her, too.

Continuing her story, she said another famous face freaked her out.

Instagram | @melaniecmusic

While Paul McCartney was a big deal, the bigger deal was Mel C, aka Sporty Spice.

Billie, who is 17, originally thought that the Spice Girls was just a fictional band from the movie, Spice World.


Then Ellen asked about her Tourette's.

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"You spoke about something that I think is really important and brave, that you didn't intend to speak about."

Ellen said that Billie was amazing for speaking about having it, as it takes away some of the stigma surrounding it.

Billie has had Tourette Syndrome her whole life.

Instagram | @wherearetheavocados

Tourette Syndrome (more commonly known as Tourette's to many of us) is a neurological disorder.

Basically, it creates involuntary tics in your motor functions. For many, the motor tics are also accompanied by verbal ones, too.

Everyone around her knows about it.

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For her family and friends, it's just another part of Billie.

For Billie, it's something she didn't want everyone to know. Not because she was ashamed, but because she didn't want to be defined by it.

She didn't talk about it before.

Instagram | @wherearetheavocados

i"I just never said anything, because I didn't want — I didn't want that to define who I was."

She didn't want to be known as the "artist with Tourette's." She just wanted to be Billie.

She has ways of keeping it in control when she needs to.

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For pre-recorded interviews, she'll hold her composure while she's on camera, talking.

When the interviewer is asking the question, she can relax and allow her tics to do as they please. This saves her from having to hold it together all the time.

During one interview, the tics came out.

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Unlike previous interviews, this one didn't cut away from her during the interviewer's questions. She was on camera the entire time.

So everyone saw her Tourette's on full display, but with no context for them.

People started making videos about it immediately.

YouTube | Billie Eilish

They thought she was being funny.

"There was tons of compilations, like 'This is so funny that Billie did this facial expression!' When really it's just a bunch of tics."

Ellen praised her for opening up.

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"I'm sure a lot of people have that. Look at where you are. Look at what you, you know, have accomplished.

And you haven't let that even make you feel, you know, that there's something wrong with it. 'Cause there's not, it's just a part of who you are."

Billie's fans responded positively, too.

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"I think I also really learned that a lot of my fans have it. Which made me feel, kind of more at home with saying it."

Acceptance and not feeling alone are so important in any journey.

Seeing themselves made them feel better.

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"And also, I felt like there was a connection there.

I felt like when I said that, there were kids posting and being like, 'Oh my God! I've always had this! Now she has it, and she's who I can look up to with it.'"