15 Celebrities Who Suffer From Stage Fright

FUN FACTS August 10, 2017 By Hugo

We have long believed that celebrities are living embodiments of perfection who are immune to the everyday things that make the human experience difficult to contend with but that's far from the case. In fact, while their talents may seem effortless, many find it hard to perform at their best when nerves, panic attacks, and bouts of anxiety play a substantial role in their daily lives. 

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To shed further light on this, we've profiled 15 celebrities who have openly admitted to suffering from stage fright at one point in their lives.

1. Megan Fox

While looking good has never been an issue for this stunner, performing in front of the camera is something Megan finds harder to deal with, and though she has appeared in many shows and movies, Megan admitted in the past that the feelings of unease never go away.

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Indeed, as well as regularly lamenting society's fascination with celebrity and her unease at being seen as one, Megan has also admitted that her natural stage fright would make performing on stage a thankless task. 

"I don't have the stomach for [the stage]," she told The Huffington Post. "It takes a very brave, courageous person, and I'm too neurotic. I wouldn't survive an entire run of a play. ... If you mess up, you sort of mess up everyone else's experience as well, and you can't reset. It's frightening."

2. Barbara Streisand

You'd think one of Hollywood's most esteemed artists and performers would have little trouble being phased by crowds, but Streisand's stage fright is so bad she must take anti-anxiety medication before she goes on stage.

But Barbara's nerves weren't always so crippling. In fact, it was only after a performance in 1976 when the hitmaker forget many of her lyrics that she took a 30-year break from performing. 

An industry insider even revealed that every word that comes out of her mouth since her return to the stage originates from a teleprompter and even the banter with the crowd at her sold-out performances is scripted.

3. Adele

The British songstress may be the best-selling artist on the planet, but Adele Atkins has always been more at home in a studio than in front of thousands of people.

Having said that, you'd presume nerves are what every great artist needs to make sure they never underperform, but Adele's nerves are so extreme she once admitted to escaping from a bathroom window at a venue in Amsterdam because the pressure of performing live was so intense. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Adele also revealed that her stage fright led to vomiting. "I've thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile vomited on someone. I just gotta bear it. But I don't like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot." 

4. Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere is an actress who has been around for years, but she admitted when filming scenes for the critically acclaimed show, 'Nashville' that the show taught her to be more adept at performing in front of large crowds.

Speaking to the Associated Press, the actress said, "The show, I feel like, is an amazing second step for me because I love music and I've always had such terrible stage fright." 

5. Amanda Seyfried

The model-turned-actress has enjoyed a stellar rise in recent years thanks to a string of stand-out performances in films like Mean Girls and Dear John, but Amanda doesn't seem to be getting any better at dealing with the attention that comes from being a bonafide A-lister.

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When on the David Letterman show in 2013, Seyfried admitted to always drinking before being called on for interviews! 

6. Laurence Olivier

You'd think one of the greatest stage actors of all time would have had no problems dazzling spectators with his acting abilities, but while that may have been the case in his younger years, the stage actor experienced terrible stage fright in the latter years of his career.

According to a source from NBC, Olivier's stage fright became so bad that his manager was once forced to push him onstage while performing at London's National Theatre.

7. Andre 3000

Remember Andre 3000? He was one of the greatest stars of the 90s and early 00s and was part of the reason the hip-hop duo Outkast became so revered. But years away from the spotlight took their toll on the multi-talented artist, who has only recently returned to the spotlight after taking time away from the industry due to stage fright.

Talking to MTV's RapFix in 2013, friend and musician Cee-Lo Green said, "He said he had a severe case of stage fright. And just kind of being away from the game, [he] didn’t know if he could live up—I just feel like I’m talking so much personal stuff, I hope he don’t mind—but just really said he’s bothered by this bar that’s been set.” 

8. Rihanna

We had trouble believing this considering Rhi Rhi is one of the most brazen performers out there, but that doesn't mean she isn't susceptible to the nerves that come from performing to people who expect nothing but the best.

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Speaking in an interview when guest starring on the UK version of The X Factor, the songstress admitted she regularly gets nervous and nauseous before every live show.

9. Katy Perry

This chart-topping global superstar certainly isn't shy when it comes to singing about the raunchier things in life (California Girls, anyone?) but it appears that Perry isn't the self-assured performer she comes across as on stage. 

Speaking about her performance at Radio 1's Teen Awards, a lachrymose Perry said, "I still feel nervous performing to crowds. It’s not that I don’t feel ready, but I worry that they’ll rush the stage as they’re all screaming my name…”

10. Cassie

The "Me & U" hitmaker never had the strongest of vocals so we can understand why performing on stage was something that didn't come naturally to the RNB star, a reality she first demonstrated at the BET Awards in 2006. 

Evidently, the pressure of performing- let alone signing- was something the faded star found hard mastering, and many people viewed her debut performances as ones that killed her career before it had barely taken off.

Addressing critics via Myspace page (yes, it was that long ago), the singer candidly confessed, "I am aware that my live performances have been pretty bad. No excuses, I’m still getting over stage fright. I am very upset with the series of events this week, and I do not appreciate people making me look and sound crazy…” 

11. Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik admitted in his recent autobiography 'Zayn' that singing in front of people was something that never came naturally to him and that growing up acting was the art form in which he felt less exposed as a performer because he could hide behind a fictional character.


Yes, Zayn, who had the benefit of performing with four bandmates during his time in One Direction, has never been naturally confident as a performer- let alone a solo one- and recently cancelled most of his live performances as a solo artist during the run-up to his debut solo album ' Mind of Mine; because of "crippling anxiety." 

12. Ozzy Osbourne

For someone who's spent half their life under the influence of various narcotics, it's not surprising to know that the Black Sabbath frontman is a shadow of himself when sober and admitted in his autobiography that he has long struggled with performing live.

"To say that I suffer from pre-show nerves," wrote Osbourne, "is like saying that when you get hit by an atom bomb it hurts a bit."

13. Cher

In the early stages of Cher's career she was very shy and performing to crowds were nothing short of terrifying for the now-gregarious star.

Regardless of her fears, Sonny Bono was determined to market her as a solo act, yet Cher's inability to be on stage alone meant Bono was often asked by Cher to join her. But with time, the singer's fears were quashed, with the icon learning to mask her anxieties by focusing on Bono while also engaging in witty banter with whoever she was performing with.

14. Thom Yorke

The Radiohead frontman has been playing to sold-out stadiums and arenas for years but even in the latter stages of his career the legendarily rocker's malaise around performing is still just as strong.

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Speaking on the WYNC radio show 'Here's the Thing,' the British singer questioned why he has led his life around a career which consistently leaves him feeling nervous. "You know, I often ask myself why in the hell would you put yourself through this because it's very stressful. It's a lot of pressure, and for me mentally, I have to build myself up to it in my head gradually. It sounds really precious, but it messes with my head."

15. Jonathan Knight

The New Kids on the Block singer hasn't shied away from the fact that he struggles with an anxiety disorder, and it was that same disorder which led an impromptu Knight to dash off stage during the performance of one the band's New York concerts in 2013.

While he did later tweet, "I'm sorry......", Knight's bandmates, who were already well-aware of their bandmate's condition, continued without the singer for the rest of the gig. 

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