- Sia is known for concealing her face underneath cropped wigs and elaborate headgear.
- The pop star began hiding her face after her breakthrough as a solo artist in 2011.
- “I don’t wear this if there aren’t cameras around. I only wear this to maintain a modicum of privacy,” Sia explained in 2016.
- She has also been open about the negative effects of fame on her mental health.
Sia may be a household name or perhaps even a musical genius, but very few fans know what she looks like underneath her signature wig.
On Sunday, the 43-year-old singer made a rare appearance without her headgear at the Daily Front Row Awards in Los Angeles.
Most often, Sia steps out wearing a cropped wig that covers the majority of her face – leaving her mouth free to speak and sing – occasionally with an accessory perched on top, like a hat or whopping white bow.
She began hiding her face after her breakthrough as a solo artist
By 2010, Sia (born Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) had already released five studio albums. She decided to stop performing and pivot to songwriting, eventually penning hits for a slew of artists – including Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Flo Rida, and Rihanna.
But Sia’s fame reached a new level in 2011, thanks to her featured vocals on David Guetta’s smash hit “Titanium.”
In fact, Sia actually wrote the song for another female vocalist, but Alicia Keys turned it down. Guetta then used Sia’s demo vocals on the final version and released the song without asking.
“I never even knew it was gonna happen, and I was really upset. Because I had just retired, I was trying to be a pop songwriter, not an artist,” Sia told NPR in 2014.
Shortly after, Sia became known for hiding her face.
She told NPR that she came up with the concept of the signature wig around late 2012 or early 2013.
“Maybe I was meditating and I thought, oh, I’ll just be the blonde bob!” she said. “If Amy Winehouse is the bouffant, then I’ll be the blonde bob.”
In 2014, while promoting her sixth studio album, “1000 Forms of Fear,” Sia enlisted the teenage dancer Maddie Ziegler to star in her music videos and perform alongside her onstage as a kind of young alter-ego.
‘I don’t want to be famous, or recognisable’
Sia has explained that she wears wigs to defend herself against the dark side of fame. She even wrote an op-ed for Billboard about her decision in 2013.
“If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous,” Sia wrote for Billboard. “Imagine the stereotypical highly opinionated, completely uninformed mother-in-law character and apply it to every teenager with a computer in the entire world. Then add in all bored people, as well as people whose job it is to report on celebrities. Then, picture that creature, that force, criticising you for an hour straight once a day, every day, day after day.”
She also told Chris Connelly on “Nightline” in 2014 that she doesn’t want to be “famous or recognisable.”
“I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look on the internet,” she said, “I’ve been writing pop songs for pop stars now for a couple of years and I’ve become friends with them and see what their life is like and that’s not something I want.”
‘I don’t wear this if there aren’t cameras around’
Although Sia has made a point to conceal her face when she steps out as a performer – as when she sings onstage, walks a red carpet, or makes an appearance on a late-night talk show – she has been known to forgo elaborate headgear at low-key events.
Sia is open about her desire for privacy, and the negative affects that fame has had on her mental health; she struggled with drug and alcohol addiction early in her career, and has been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. She says she even considered suicide in 2010.
“I don’t wear this if there aren’t cameras around. I only wear this to maintain a modicum of privacy,” Sia explained to James Corden during a 2016 “Carpool Karaoke” segment.
“I was a singer for like 10 or 11 years to mediocre success, and I was an alcoholic and a drug addict,” she continued. “I sobered up and decided I didn’t want to be an artist anymore, because I was starting to become a little bit famous, and it was destabilizing in some way.
“So I thought, ‘What doesn’t exist in pop music at the moment?’ And it was mystery. I was like there’s pictures on Instagram of everyone at the dentist.”
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