Tones And I Opens Up About “Relentless Bullying” And Death Threats Just Days After ARIAs Sweep
From the outside, Tones and I is having the year of her life. From her certified bop Dance Monkey hitting number one on Spotify to sweeping the ARIA Awards this week, it’s been a huge year for the singer who was busking in Byron Bay just months ago.
Turns out, the “year of her life” part is not quite what it seems. In a revealing Instagram post, the singer (whose real name is Toni Watson) opened up about the”relentless bullying” she has experienced since going global, even adding that she’s received death threats.
“I am going through the best and worst time of my life,” she said.
“People always say, ‘Tones how does it feel, it must feel great, what are you feeling, you must be over the moon’.
“Truth is (and we have all seen it) with success comes judgement and opinions, this I was prepared for, it’s normal (which is sickening) but the relentless bullying that follows every proud moment tears my mind in two.”
Tones, who picked up four ARIA Awards this week, including Best Female Artist, said she’s been on the receiving end of “very harsh judgement from strangers”.
“To my fans I love you unconditionally but I have been hiding a big black hole for a while now and feel if I hide it like most artists do then how are we going to help the next generations of young artist to come,” she said.
“I am a very open honest, caring, good person and in the dark times of death threats and very harsh judgements from strangers I have never met, I have decided to push past it and show any artist that you can get through it and maintain your sense of self, even though I don’t see an end in sight, this is how I will live my life now.”
It comes off the back of her super honest and heartfelt ARIAs acceptance speech, delivered with shaking hands and read from a piece of paper.
“Sometimes I don’t that that I’m the most relatable female artist. I’m not into make-up or dresses, or typically girly things,” she said.
“But, to me, those things don’t really define what it is to be a female artist in this industry anymore. It’s being brave and courageous, and true to yourself. No-one could have ever prepared me for the whole world judging me and comparing me to other artists.”
Her post has prompted an outpouring of solidarity from other Aussie acts, including Hilltop Hoods and Peking Duk. “Love you Tones,” the latter said.