THE Irish Queen of rockabilly, Imelda May, has revealed she performed with excruciating back pain for years – a fact she has kept hidden from the world.
At some of her gigs the star would even play with a back-brace hidden under her dress.
She told the Sunday Independent: "I had back problems as a kid. Then I fell on my bum at my sister's 50th birthday. I had a collapsed disc. Then I was up to my eyes on some painkillers. I remember once in Spain taking the wrong painkillers," Imelda added.
"There is one that you take two of and another painkiller that you take one that is stronger. I got them mixed up and took two of the stronger painkillers. I fell asleep under a bench and I was on stage in half an hour. I was conked out. I was drinking cans of coke and espressos like there was no tomorrow," she laughs.
"My back is grand now. Pregnancy actually helped me and having the baby helped," the star said, referring her and husband Darrel Higham's first child, Violet, who was born in August, 2010.
"Pregnancy can make your back worse or better but with me, it actually helped. Your hips almost have to dislocate. Everything has to move. All your organs have to move into different places. My doctor said that my back will either get worse or get better. My bones moved and found obviously a new position."
"So my baby inside me was secretly fixing my back," said the Dubliner, who launched her new Tribal album with a party and an intimate performance at Thomas House on Thomas Street last Thursday attended by her family and close friends.
"All the pain disappeared and it has been gone since."
You can watch Imelda May's interview on independent.ie next week plus a competition to win VIP tickets to her show at the O2, Dublin, on December 20.