Natalie Imbruglia opens up about her struggle with anxiety, OCD and body dysmorphia in a new interview. The Australian singer who rose to fame with the international 1990s hit ‘Torn’ also speaks of how difficult the sudden fame was and what she had to do to cope and why she took a five-year-hiatus from her music career.

Natalie Imbruglia

Photo: Natalie Imbruglia
Credit: PR Photos

Now 40 years old, the singer who has become so indelible with her iconic 1998 hit ‘Torn’ is back with a new album, ‘Male,’ and with much candor over why she withdrew from the glare of the public spotlight.

She opened up in a candid interview with The Mirror, and said of those days of intense fame, “I was anxious, nervous, stressed out and scared. I didn’t want to go outside in case people recognised me.”

She continued, saying, “It nearly sent me insane. I felt I had to live up to Torn. I didn’t write it, but I was a part of the reason it was so successful. I felt so much pressure to live up to those expectations, then I was expected to top it. That was really hard for me.”

Natalie Imbruglia also revealed that she had difficulty being out in public. She reflected upon those days, and added, “I was so busy being scared I never took time to see places and enjoy it. I was scared of losing my voice or being recognised.”

She spoke also of her internal struggles, and said, “I always took myself too seriously and could never really relax. It’s a perfectionist trait. I look back and think I should have just had more fun.”

She also said, “I have OCD, which can be a problem because I’m not good with change. My motto is ‘No Surprises’. It’s an OCD from my mother. It is hard. In trying to control things it doesn’t work.”

She is single now, after having divorced her former husband, Silverchair frontman, Daniel Johns, in 2008 and she spoke of the impact of that divorce, saying, “I was going through some sort of body dysmorphia and it wasn’t good. There was always so much focus on the way I looked.”

She went on to say, “It was pretty confusing to have people always asking about your appearance. The assumption was that I was there because of my looks.”

But now years later, having left the music world for five years,’ she spoke of what it’s like being back in the spotlight, as she has been all over the world promoting her new album, ‘Male’ which was released in July. She even made a live appearance on the ‘Today Show’ on Throwback Thursday to sing her signature hit, ‘Torn.’

She said, “Music is a strange thing – if you aren’t feeling it you can’t force it. I just needed a break and it took courage to do that – and luckily I could afford to do it.”

She told The Mirror, “Turning 40 was a good thing for me.” She went on to say, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I’m more settled and I’m not trying to be anything that I’m not.”

You can see Natalie Imbruglia’s full interview here. It’s a long read, full of many details of her musical and emotional journey. You can see the music video of ‘Torn,’ the iconic hit that made her such an international music star below!