Missy Higgins' debut album The Sound of White was released in 2004, turning the singer into an overnight Aussie star aged just 21.
Featuring her single 'Scar', Higgins' voice was inescapable. But with the success, came relentless speculation about her sexuality.
Speaking to Anh Do on Brush With Fame, Higgins said she was still trying to work it out for herself at the time, and the constant questioning by media was detrimental to her journey.
Watch: Missy Higgins on Anh Do's Brush With Fame. Post continues below video.
"Everyone was speculating about my sexuality, which was such a personal thing, and such a thing I was grappling with," she said.
"All the journalists were trying to get an answer out of me, they all wanted me to say I was gay and to come out loud and proud but I was still figuring it out myself, and I felt so much pressure to put myself in a box and to put a label on it from everybody else."
She said the rumours made her "shut down".
"Every time I did an interview, I was in shutdown mode, because they were probing every single angle, trying to get me to slip up. Trying to get me to say a pronoun, you know? So I'd be like, 'How do I describe what this song's about without saying 'she'?'"
This was so "traumatic" Higgins felt she couldn't be vulnerable, even in her music.
"Shutting down in that way meant I wasn’t going to be able to express myself because that would make me way too vulnerable.
"The world had me at that point, and they were abusing it. They were abusing that right, and I wanted to take it back."