It wasn’t until her sixth studio album that most of the world heard of Sia. Her popular dance hits of the last decade put her in the public eye.
But since 2014, Sia’s unique appearance included large wigs and bows that hide her face. While stage fright may be one reason she wears them, we found out a few more.
We’ll lift the veil and learn why Sia hides behind the bangs. The mystery is about to be revealed.
The Story of Sia
Born on December 18, 1975, in Adelaide, Australia, Sia Kate Isobelle Furler’s parents provided a solid foundation for the future star. Her dad Phil Colson is an Australian musician, and her mother, Laura Furler, is an art lecturer.
Music and art played a significant role in her development as a child. As a young singer, she imitated the styles of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Sting.
These influences brought her to the attention of the acid-jazz group Crisp in the early 1990s. Her gritty, soulful vocals perfectly complemented the funky jams the band played. They released two records in 1996 and a third in 1997 before disbanding.
Sia left Australia for London, England, to be with her partner Dan Pontifex. Sadly, Pontifex died in a car accident while Sia was en route to London.
From Sorrow to Success
One of Dan’s roommates convinced her to come to London anyway. After arriving, she connected with the band Jamiroquai, providing their background vocals. Sia also performed and toured with the English downtempo band Zero 7.
In 2000, Sia signed with Sony Music and began work on her second studio album. However, she left Sony after her first album didn’t get the kind of support and marketing she hoped for.
A year later, Sia signed with Go! Beat. After seeing some success with her fourth and fifth albums, Sia became uncomfortable with fame.
In 2010, Sia retired as a performing artist but decided a career as a songwriter was a good fit. Her first major hit, Titanium, was written for Alicia Keys but recorded by David Guetta. But instead of letting her sink into anonymity, Guetta included her demo vocals on the release.
Dragged back into the spotlight, Sia recorded her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, in 2014. The lead single, Chandelier, peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and the rest is history.
Wigs Hide the Pain
After nearly committing suicide in 2010, she withdrew from fame and embraced the anonymity of the wig. Since then, she only appears on stage with her signature wigs and bows, hiding the pain beneath.
She became sober in 2010 and joined Alcoholics Anonymous. In 2019 she adopted two 19-year-old twin boys who she moved into her Los Angeles mansion. The following year, Sia became a grandmother.
With the release of her latest album, Music, Sia employed actress and dancer Maddie Ziegler as her muse. She sparked controversy by casting Ziegler as an autistic character in the film accompanying the record.
The non-neurotypical community spoke out against what they saw as ableism, something Sia openly admits. She says, “It wasn’t ableism — I mean, it is ableism, I guess, as well — but it’s actually nepotism because I can’t do a project without her, I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her.”
Sia’s Best Known Songs
Inspired by an actual chandelier, Sia’s 2014 hit appeared on her sixth album. She wanted to write a song about swinging from it. This explanation seems simple because the song turns out to be a party anthem about addiction.
After the death of her partner Dan Pontifex, Sia went on a six-year bender. Chandelier tells the story of her own battle with addiction. While initially written for singer Rhianna, Sia decided to record the song herself after realizing it was such a personal account.
Sia’s sleeper hit off her 2004 album Colour the Small One and introduced US audiences to her work. Featured in the series finale of Six Feet Under, the song is about suffering from depression and needing a friend for support.
Ten years before her hit Chandelier, the song popped up on television for years before becoming one of her best-selling singles. It sold over 1.2 million copies.
Released in 2013 on the soundtrack for the film Catching Fire, the track was on Sia’s sixth studio album. An anthem to mental illness, the video stoked controversy by featuring a cage dance with 28-year-old Shia LeBoeuf and 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler.
Elastic Heart featured work from The Weekend and Diplo and marked one of her most successful collaborations. Sia writes dark party anthems, and this tune is no exception. Her father struggled with mental illness and, like the subject in the song, could not escape.
Why Does Sia Wear Wigs?
Since her first big hit, Chandelier, Sia has worn wigs on stage and in public appearances. Struggles with panic disorders, addiction, and fame contributed to this decision.
Sia feels the wigs help control her public image and protect her privacy. This does not extend to her muse, Maddie Ziegler, who always appears with Sia in matching wigs but with her face exposed.
Beyond these reasons, Sia also has crippling stage fright. In an interview with Good Morning America, she revealed just how bad it is. She said, “I do not love performing…I get really scared.”
Additionally, she mentioned how emotional she gets before performing. Sia explained, “I just cried in the dressing room…I got really croaky, and I was like…I’m not going to hit that high note.” In the end, she just wants everyone to like her.
Has Sia Been in Movies or TV?
The Simpsons used Sia’s song Breathe Me as a parody of Six Feet Under. The writers crafted a montage to the piece showing the deaths of all the main characters.
Sia appeared as the voice of Songbird Serenade in the movie My Little Pony. Additionally, she contributed a song, Rainbow, to the film and soundtrack.
Her film Music is her most substantial contribution to movies and features songs from the album of the same name. It tells the story of a drug dealer who becomes the sole guardian of her autistic sister.
As previously discussed, controversy ensued when Sia cast Maddie Ziegler instead of an autistic actor, outraging the autism community.
The 2021 film received terrible reviews. Rotten Tomatoes users gave Music a 7% rating and cited the offensive portrayal of autism as one of the reasons.
Shy or Not, We Respect Sia and Her Music
Sia’s music reaches millions of people worldwide. However misguided her attempts at protecting her privacy are, she deserves respect for her work.
Wearing the face-hiding wigs may help her mask crippling stage fright. But we now understand Sia has other reasons for donning them.
Have you seen Sia perform live? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.