Who Is Billie Eilish? 11 Details About The Young Singer People Are Calling The New Lorde

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Billie Eilish
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Songs like “Ocean Eyes,” “Bellyache,” and “Lovely” have thrust Billie Eilish into the spotlight. The singer, whose full name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, has been compared to Lorde and was dubbed “Pop’s Most Impressive 15-Year-Old” by Billboard last year.

This newfound fame and attention have come as somewhat of a culture shock for Eilish, who learned to write music from her mother and wrote one of her early hits at the request of her dance teacher. Read on to find out about Eilish’s rise to fame, from her beginnings in a musical family to her most recent career endeavors.

1. She's still a teenager.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Eilish (aside from, of course, her incredible talent), is that she's only 16 years old. However, Eilish doesn't see her age as being important, claiming it shouldn't define her. “That’s all I hear,” she told Harper's Bazaar in 2017. “‘What’s it like being 15?’ Oh my God, I don't know. It's the way that I feel. I've never been older. Ask me every single year and I'll give you the same answer.”

2. She draws musical inspiration from her family.

“My family’s insanely musical. Like my mom taught me and my brother both how to write music,” Eilish told Vevo last October, discussing how her family influenced her beginnings in the music industry. “I started writing [music] with my brother, and then we just started putting stuff out just cause we wanted to, [without] expectations for what it was gonna become.”

As she told Harper’s Bazaar, Eilish still frequently collaborates with her brother Finneas, a fellow songwriter. “My brother and I always write together pretty much, and we write so much that it’s never like we don’t have new songs,” Eilish said of her brother, who also plays guitar and harmonizes with her during some of her performances.

3. She’s been writing music since age five.

In her interview with Vevo, Eilish revealed that she wrote “little tiny bad songs” when she was five, including one about falling into a black hole that goes like this: “I’m going down down down into the black hole, sweepin up your soul today.”

She added in the interview that she wrote her first “real song” at age 11 or 12, as part of an assignment for a singing class taught by her mother. “[The] assignment was to watch a show or a movie and then like pick out hooks or like certain lines that you think would be cool in the song,” Eilish explained. “So, I just watched The Walking Dead and I wrote a song about the zombie apocalypse.”


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4. Her breakout hit, “Ocean Eyes,” was written for a dance class.

“My dance teacher knew that I sing, so he asked us to make a song and I thought that was the coolest thing ever,” Eilish told BBC News in July 2017. “My brother had written ‘Ocean Eyes’ and we recorded it […] we put it on Soundcloud, literally to send the link to my teacher and then it just grew from there.”

5. She was caught off guard by her newfound fame.

After “Ocean Eyes” went viral, Eilish had some major adjustments to make. “There’s no prep for anything like this at all, so I don’t know [how to handle the fame],” Eilish told Harper’s Bazaar. “When stuff just happens you just kind of have to feel it out. It’s been freaking crazy, so I’m really happy about everything.”

“Getting recognized is insane,” she continued. “People meet me and then they’ll tell me things that are like, ‘Billie you got me through this,’ and they’ll explain what happened and how I helped and literally, I just got shivers thinking about it, because it’s something that I do because I love it. That’s the only reason I do it, and that can change somebody’s life, which is freaking crazy.”

6. She was recovering from multiple injuries while filming the “Ocean Eyes” video.

“I was injured for the dance video [for 'Ocean Eyes'],” Eilish told BBC. “I had sprained my ankle in December, and I had also strained my groin and I have shoulder problems.”

Eilish, a longtime dancer, was also battling a major hip injury at the same time. I strained my growth plate. My bone separated from my muscle in my hip. It was really bad,” she explained in the same interview. “We were doing hip-hop and it just popped. So I haven’t really danced since then, which was like a year-and-a-half ago, which has been horrible.”

7. Her "Bellyache" lyrics are written from the perspective of a serial killer.

“My friends aren’t far / In the back of my car / Lay their bodies,” Eilish sings in her song “Bellyache,” written from a serial killer’s perspective.

Eilish told Billboard that, though she’s never killed anyone herself, she didn’t have much trouble getting into character for the song. “It’s really fun to put yourself into a character — into shoes you wouldn’t normally be in,” Eilish said. “You don’t have to kill people to write a song about killing people. I’m not going to kill people, so I’m just going to become another character.”


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8. She’s worked with Khalid.

lovely out now @thegr8khalid

A post shared by billie eilish (@wherearetheavocados) on Apr 19, 2018 at 10:55am PDT

Last April, Eilish teamed up with Khalid to record the song “Lovely,” which has peaked at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is included on the soundtrack for season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.

9. She signed a $2.6 million contract with Universal Music.

According to TMZ, Eilish signed a $2.6 million contract with Universal Music Corporation. TMZ reports that, according to the contract, Eilish was expected to receive $1.5 million in the days after the contract was signed. The outlet adds that she could receive an additional $7 million if the deal is extended beyond 3 years.

10. She’s currently on tour, and she's a supporting act for Florence + The Machine.

tickets on sale TO THA PUBLIC on friday b prepared

A post shared by billie eilish (@wherearetheavocados) on Jul 24, 2018 at 3:01pm PDT

Eilish’s website lists performance dates through next January in various cities across the U.S. and in Asia. Many of her concerts, including some in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and New York, are already sold out, according to the site.

Eilish is also serving as a supporting act for Florence + the Machine on their North American tour this fall. She is also expected to join them as they tour Australia in early 2019.

11. She’s been compared to Lorde (and might even collaborate with her!)

Billboard has compared Eilish to fellow singer Lorde because of her “knack for smart, affecting songwriting that betrays her age.” In an interview with JNSP Magazine last month, Eilish signaled her appreciation for the star and teased the possibility of a collaboration between the two.

“Lorde is a friend […] everything she does, she does so well,” said Eilish during the interview. “All that Lorde has done is perfectly Lorde, it’s as if no one has done anything like it.”

When asked if the two would ever collaborate, EIlish gave fans hope. “There are many… conversations with respect [to that]. So the answer is yes (laughs), there will be,” Eilish said. “It is very cool to have become a friend of those who are my idols, it is like very crazy for me.”

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