‘Mercy’ Singer Duffy Bravely Speaks Out on Why She’s Stayed Out of the Spotlight

A decade ago, Duffy was on top of the charts with her retro jazz-club-style hit song, Mercy. At the time, she was almost as big as Adele, and everyone assumed she’d go on to accomplish incredible things. But while Adele became a household name, Duffy just disappeared. 

Every once in awhile, someone would wonder whatever happened to Duffy, but there was no answer – until now. For the first time in over ten years, Duffy finally offered an explanation about her strange disappearance from music. And the answer is more horrifying and tragic than anyone could have imagined. 

Who is Duffy?

Duffy with short hair, half smiling at the camera
Duffy | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

If you lived under a rock around 2008, or are just too young to remember, Duffy is the Welsh singer who became popular for her vintage style and raspy voice. Her first album, Rockferry, which included the track, ‘Mercy’, became the best selling album in the United Kingdom. Her popularity skyrocketed and her fame increased around the world. In 2009, Rockferry won a Grammy for the Best Pop Vocal Album. 

However, Duffy’s follow-up album Endlessly didn’t do near as well, but it wasn’t because her music changed. For some reason, Duffy had stepped back. She didn’t promote herself as she should, and by 2013, she had completely left the spotlight. 

The tragic reason Duffy left the spotlight

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You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak. The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine. You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke. In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that x Duffy Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.

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After years of silence, Duffy finally spoke out about her absence on social media. On Instagram, the singer wrote an emotional post describing the pain she went through and her reasons for leaving music. 

“The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now,” Duffy wrote, “I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time.” 

After revealing her shocking truth, Duffy went on to explain why she chose to remove herself from the public’s attention. “You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken?”

While it must have been a terrifying and gut-wrenching ordeal to live through, Duffy also revealed that she’s doing much better after taking the time to heal. She didn’t provide any details about the attack or the perpetrator but said that she’s planning to speak more about her experience during an interview, which she will be posting to her Instagram account in the next few weeks. 

Duffy finished the post by thanking her fans for always sticking by her and providing such supportive words.  “I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years,” she wrote. “You have been friends. I want to thank you for that x.”

Fans and celebrities support Duffy

After posting the tragic news, Duffy’s fans were quick to leave notes of love and encouragement for the signer. The Instagram post is now filled with supportive comments and heart emojis, which probably makes Duffy feel much better about sharing her truth. 

“Thank you for sharing your story with us, some could never understand the pain. You are brave!!” Wrote one fan. 

Another wrote, “Send you all our love and hope you’ll be back to us with your amazing voice. Wish you all the best”

Even celebrities stepped up to show their support of Duffy. Call the Midwife actor, Stephen McGann posted in support on his Twitter account. “You poor, poor woman. What an appalling thing. All love and gentleness to you, brave stranger. xxx #duffy,” he wrote.

Television personality and host of Supermarket Sweep, Rylan Clark-Neal posted simply her name and a heart emoji to his Twitter

But it was another musical artist, the rapper Chika, who really stepped up for Duffy, calling her a “literal goddess” and a “fairy godmother.” She explained that Duffy was the first artist to really support her in her career. “She literally paid for my first time in the studio. She found me on Instagram while I was in a low place, and immediately became my fairy godmother,” Chika wrote on Twitter.

As her post continued, Chika explained that Duffy had once told her about the attack. Through sharing her experience, Duffy had helped her work through her own pain. “She is the reason I learned to process pain. She helped me realize my insecurities about internet shit actually traced back to my previous relationship & my need to prove to others that I was doing well,” Chika wrote. “She showed me that it was okay to not do well.”

Duffy’s fans spoke out to support her. But in doing so, they also shared how much Duffy’s experience inspired them. Her strength gives others the strength to face their challenges.