In what should be a moment of joyous celebration after her clean sweep of the ARIAs, Tones And I has revealed the extent of abuse and bullying she has encountered on her rise to the top.
In an emotional and honest Instagram post, Tones (real name Toni Watson) admits that she has been in a "big black hole for a while now" despite her recent successes due to the "relentless bullying that follows every proud moment".
She goes on to say that although she was prepared for the judgements and opinions that would inevitably accompany her achievements, they have taken a severe toll on her mental health.
The post has so far clocked up more than 300 responses from both fans and Tones' fellow musicians, including Hilltop Hoods and Amy Shark, offering messages of support.
Certainly a polarising artist (the best ones usually are), Tones says she has been the target of harsh judgments, hateful abuse and even death threats - Why? Because she's the number one artist in the country? That is tall poppy syndrome on steroids and it's starting to border on a national embarrassment.
Here is an artist that has (at time of writing) held the number one spot on the ARIA singles chart with her song 'Dance Monkey' for a whopping 17 weeks, the longest for any song since the chart's inception.
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People always say “tones how does it feel, it’s must feel great, what are you feeling, you must be over the moon” It does and I don’t want to take anything away from my well deserved achievements and 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.. 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. I make music, I have chosen to follow my passion in life and stick to it until it stuck to me. 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. I am Toni Watson, A female artist from Australia I am going through the best and worst time of my life. And today I am OK. I love you and as always.. we are in this together ?
We live in a time when there is a real push to create safe and inclusive workspaces, where we believe that everyone has the right to do their job without being bullied or disparaged.
Not to get too political about it either, but considering the statistics around bullying, domestic abuse and violence against women in Australia, it's not a great look for us to be flogging the sh.t out of one of our most promising young female artists for all the world to see.
Yet here we are, again, a babbling and rabid mob more than happy to tear apart a young and talented woman who had the audacity to poke her head above the weeds.
Add to that the fact there's an unfortunate obsession with her true age and it paints a truly morbid picture of where our attitudes are at in this country.
It's not a gender issue - this isn't angry MRAs (Mens Rights Activists) in dark corners of the internet venting their frustrations on an artist they don't like - it's outright hatred and vitriol from men and women, many within the music industry itself, who feel placated in their unfulfilled existences by picking on someone who's done more at the age of 19 than her detractors will accomplish in a multitude of lifetimes.
In true Tones And I style, she's not letting the haters get to her, saying: "I have decided to push through it and how 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,".
That's actually some good advice to anyone with enough time on their hands to abuse a complete stranger - get a life and start living it.