LEWIS Capaldi’s status as a Scottish music icon has long been secured.

His vocal talent is undeniable and the songs he has written have become a go-to soundtrack for those experiencing the first flushes of new love or the bitter sting of heartbreak.

And aside from all that, he’s seems like a really good laugh – which we all know is the highest accolade that can be bestowed on a Scottish person. He’s likable, funny and the kind of guy you’d want to go for a drink with.

We saw his talent – and trademark humour – on display during his Glastonbury set at the weekend.

But it was a tough watch at times. Not just because he visibly struggled to sing at times, but because you could tell by his repeated apologies to the assembled crowd that he felt he had let himself, and them, down.

But he didn’t.

Last year, Capaldi disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. He spoke about how the physical symptoms of it affected him and said performing made them worse.

READ MORE: Glastonbury 2023: Lewis Capaldi to take another music break

In a candid Netflix documentary later in the year, the singer was also open about his mental ill-health and anxiety. He experiences severe panic attacks, which he says make him feel like he is going “insane”.

“I can’t breathe. I get dizzy. I feel like there’s something happening to my head,” he said.

Despite the terrifying rise in faceless internet abuse and hatred, as a society we’re much better equipped to understand the mental health challenges of others – and ourselves – than we were in the past.

And when it comes to our stars, we don’t expect them to be shiny vessels of perfection we once did.

That much was clear during the last few songs of Capaldi’s Glastonbury set, when the crowd offered its full voice during times when his faltered.

He’d told the crowd he would play two more songs before offering an apology, saying: “I’m really sorry. You’ve all come out and I’m really apologising. My voice is packing in.”

You got the sense that, if they weren’t too busy belting out Someone You Loved, the crowd would have been minded to shout back at the singer: ‘’You’ve got nothing to apologise for!’’

The thousands of people who gathered to watch Capaldi perform weren’t expecting a set unhindered by any of the physical or mental challenges the singer has been so commendably open in talking about.

They wanted to see him. Not him necessarily on his best day. Not a Capaldi who was suddenly “cured” of Tourette’s or free of anxiety, but one who has proven time and time again that he is worthy of all the accolades he has earned.

The set came after a three-week mental health break when the singer took time off to prepare for the show. How refreshing it is to see a pop star prioritise their health and be honest about the toll that performing takes.

Capaldi’s trademark honesty about his mental health is especially significant from a male performer.

We live in a world where men are still told that they have to be tough, to be stoic and to “just get on with it” when they face challenging times. There is an enduring and unfair expectation that men must always persevere and push through adversity. They’re told to “man up” and battle on.

And we see the toll that takes. In 2021, men accounted for 75% of all deaths by suicide.

When a beloved, well-known singer such as Capaldi says that actually, he’s not OK sometimes, that sends a message to other young men that this is a normal part of the human experience and not something to be ashamed of.

The outpouring of support for Capaldi both during his set wasn’t sympathy – it was affection. It was love, channelled through the unparalleled power of a singalong.

We have to hope that off stage, Capaldi’s support network can show their love and pride for him in more direct ways. With plenty of cuddles, conversations and maybe a gentle scolding or two that he shouldn’t be so bloody hard on himself.

At the end of his set, the crowd went wild.

“I feel like I’ll be taking another wee break for the next few weeks,” he told them.

“You might not see me for the rest of the year. But when I do come back and I do see you I hope you’re up for watching”

There’s no doubt that his fans will welcome him back with the same warmth they showed during his Glastonbury set when and if he feels able to take to the stage again.

Take all the time you need pal, they’re not going anywhere.