The Ongoing History of Billie Eilish


Pamina Yung, Staff Writer

Billie Eilish is the icon of teen pop culture in music. Her career has come a long way since 2016 when she released the music video on YouTube of her first song, Ocean Eyes.

Eilish’s full birth name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, and she possesses English, Irish, Scottish, and Belgian heritage. She was born on Dec. 18, 2001, into a family of musicians and actors. Her parents, Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, filled their household with music, inspiring her to sing and dance. She frequently sang and joined the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus for three years with her brother when she was eight-years-old. She began to make her own music videos and short films that she edited on Apple’s iMovie app and took dance lessons as a young teen. Eilish was homeschooled in her younger years, as she and her parents thought she wouldn’t have been taken seriously at a normal school. She also worked two summers at a stable to afford its horse-riding lessons.

Eilish’s brother, 23-year-old Finneas O’Connell, has been a long-time supporter of Eilish’s music and a writer and co-writer of a handful of her songs including Bellyache along with Ocean Eyes, which they first uploaded onto SoundCloud in 2015 and was originally meant for her dance teacher to use. When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, an album which they wrote together, was the most streamed album on Apple Music and Spotify, earning two Grammy nominations.

Speaking of Grammys, Eilish currently has five. In the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2019, she won “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for her song Bad Guy in addition to “Album of the Year” and “Best Pop Vocal Album” for the previously mentioned album. She also has two MTV Europe Music Awards, two American Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award for “Best Editing” regarding Bad Guy, and a BRIT Award for “Best International Female Artist”.

According to the Cosmopolitan, Eilish has a net worth of $25 million as of July. The staggering amount of money she has made comes mostly from her digital singles, from which she’s earned a total of $40 million, and endorsements. She’s done campaigns for brands like Calvin Klein and In 2019, Apple TV+ offered Eilish $25 million to make a documentary about her personal life and childhood. The documentary was set to release in 2020, but that and other details are now pending due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eilish is not only known for her music but also her baggy fashion style. She told Vogue Australia, “What I like about just dressing like I’m 800 sizes bigger than I am is it kind of gives nobody the opportunity to judge what your body looks like. I don’t want to give anyone the excuse of judging.” In the #MyCalvins “I Speak My Truth” campaign, she explained, “I never want the world to know everything about me. I mean, that’s why I wear big baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”

Eilish may seem like just another pop artist on the charts, but her unique style of music and deep, or what some refer to as cynical, lyrics have helped her become a major figure and influence among the Gen Z and younger population.


Photo courtesy of THEGUARDIAN.COM