Top 10 artists who are way too stressed on stage

Having stage fright before going on stage is a common thing among musicians and actors, but it’s generally confined to a little momentary and not very bad stress. Even stimulating. On the other hand, we can also see hyper-stressed artists who themselves can’t manage the thing at all. Like, it hurts their stomachs so much that they feel like they’re going to give birth to a 100kg adult before they pass away. It’s stupid when your job is JUST to go on stage.

1. Barbra Streisand

The one who gave her name to the famous Streisand effect is probably the most stressed artist of all, and there is an anecdote that proves it quite well. In 1967, the singer gave a free concert in Central Park, and her stress caused her to forget the words to one of her songs. Most artists would have gotten over it pretty easily, but not Barbra. Barbra, she stopped doing concerts for 27 years. Downright. And after this loooong break, it only happened with a teleprompter in front of her eyes, so as not to really relive this anguish.

2. Meg White

The White Stripes drummer – and Jack White’s ex-wife, even though they passed off as brother and sister – couldn’t bear to take the stage. But like not at all. Each concert caused him big panic attacks, which ended up making him leave music definitively and sign the death of the group. The end of the white stripes.


Yes, you can be one of the biggest stars in pop and be very stressed about life. This is the case of Riri who has already confided to having had major anxiety attacks before and after going on stage. Besides, if you want to know everything, she also said that stress caused her scalp to numb. It’s weird, but with stress anything is possible.

4.Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy is the kind of guy with a dark and sulphurous aura. He’s the one who ripped off a bat’s head with his teeth on stage (well, she was the rubber beast, but it’s better not to mention it). In short, he’s not the kind of guy you imagine to be subject to stress. And yet, the Prince of Darkness, or the Godfather of heavy metal if you prefer, revealed in his autobiography that yes, he did have major anxiety attacks at the thought of going on stage. That fucks up the legend a bit.

5. Luciano Pavarotti

He was the most famous tenor in the world, and perhaps also the most anxious. Before going on stage, the guy repeated “I’m going to die” and thought he was going to sing out of tune in front of everyone. But he ended up getting on the stage and singing in tune. Because he was a good one, the Luciano.

Top 10 artists who are way too stressed on stage
Photo credits (CC BY-SA 2.0): Kingkongphoto & from Laurel Maryland, USA

6. Andrea Bocelli

After Pavarotti brought the opera to the mainstream, Bocelli took over with talent. But the interpreter of (the excellent) Let’s go also took over from stage fright, as he revealed in several interviews. Before performing, the guy is always afraid of not meeting the expectations of the public, but we told him: everything is fine Andra, you sing well, we love you.

7. Adele

She’s probably one of our best singers, but that doesn’t stop her from stressing out before every gig. Even more boring: according to her, her stage fright worsens with the years. She talked about it in an interview, explaining in passing that she was afraid of disappointing people. Just like Bocelli finally.

8. Katy Perry

She doesn’t talk much about it, but Katy admitted to taking meds in the past to combat the anxiety she felt watching the crowds at her concerts. That’s a corner of your mouth, huh?

9. Rod Stewart

An English rocker normally smokes, drinks, fucks, takes drugs, but doesn’t stress out. In any case, not in the imagination of people. But in his early days, Rod Stewart didn’t give a damn about the clichés and stressed out well during his concerts, singing hidden behind the amps so as not to have to face the crowd. Not very rock‘n’roll all that.

10. Eddie Van Halen

The guitar legend who passed away in 2020 always hated performing in public because of stage fright. Fortunately, from the start, his dad gave him great advice (no): drink before going on stage. Because of this, Eddie lived for a long time with an addiction to alcohol (and drugs, otherwise it’s not fun). Sometimes it’s better to just stress.

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