In 2015, husky-voiced singer Billie Eilish found mainstream success with her first single, Ocean Eyes. But it was 2019 that her rise became undeniable: a number one album in the US, UK and Australia; six Grammy nominations; show-stopping performances at major festivals; ringing endorsements from artists as diverse as Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and rapper Tyler, The Creator. She pulls in 52 million plays per month on Spotify, and one song alone, Bad Guy, has racked up an eye-watering 1 billion plays.
What’s even more astounding is that she’s achieved all of this despite only just turning 18. Her age makes her the only artist born in this century to have recorded a number-one single in the US.
The Guardian newspaper labelled Eilish its artist of the year for 2019. In an accompanying interview, Eilish said that while her fame seems to have come out of nowhere, she’s been dealing with this since she was 13, when Ocean Eyes came out. “Then again, that’s a lot faster than some people. They spend 20 years and for me it happened in three. But every moment this year has made me feel – ‘What the fuck is going on?’ – in good ways and bad.”
She writes songs with her musician and actor brother Fineas O’Connell, including the debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. The album debuted on the top of the Billboard 200 and became 2019’s best-performing album in the US. Eilish released clothing alongside Takashi Murakami and LA-based clothing brand Freak City, and has fronted as campaigns for Calvin Klein and mental health Public Service Announcements. She was named as one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2018.Tags: Grammy, music, USA