Billie Eilish at Icebox. Photo by Icebox.
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30 Fascinating Facts About Billie Eilish | Her Age, Musical Influences, and more

There are a lot of incredible things about Billie Eilish.

Born on December 18, 2001, the talented singer and songwriter, with her Irish and Scottish roots, was only 19 before she had already garnered the resume of a seasoned musical veteran.

With her baggy clothes style reportedly worn so people cannot judge what she looks like, she has become one of the most influential musicians in the music industry in recent years.

Her 2017 debut EP Don’t Smile at Me reached the top 20 charts in the US and across the world. 2019 saw the release of her first full-length album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and spawned an amazing four Top 40 singles. 

Her success and hit songs, such as “Bad Guy,” and “You Should See Me in a Crown” aside, Billie Eilish has lived an interesting life and has a peculiar personality and history.

Below are 30 fascinating facts about the accomplished singer and songwriter.

Table of Contents

1. Billie Eilish’s Real Name 

Billie Eilish’s full name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. Her brother Finneas added “Pirate” to her name because that is what he wanted to call her. According to Eilish, Pirate almost became her given name, but instead, it became one of her middle names.

2. Her musical accomplishments are not only stunning, but they are also unprecedented

Eilish’s youth gets a lot of attention. While her musical resume is impressive for anyone of any age, it is something completely new: she is the first, and still, the only, artist born in this century to have a #1 Billboard hit in the US chart.

3. Entertainment Runs in her Family

Billie Eilish is the daughter of Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, who are both industry big shots on the West Coast. Her brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, was a working musician before she hit it big.

4. “Ocean Eyes” was supposed to be for Fenneas O’Connell’s band

Around the same time that Billie Eilish was first hitting it big, Finneas was having success of his own. Some roles you might recognize him from Alistair on Glee, Spencer in Bad Teacher, and roles on Modern Family and Aquarius. Her breakthrough hit “Ocean Eyes” was written for him and his band.

Billie Eilish at the Hi Hat in Los Angeles in 2017.

5. Billy Eilish Got her Big Break on Soundcloud

While we’re on the subject of “Ocean Eyes,” though she originally recorded it for her dance teacher, it first caught the attention of the record industry after she released it on SoundCloud in 2016. Although popular among indie artists and smaller labels, it’s rare that a pop singer gets their start on that platform. Even I have a SoundCloud for my folk-rock songs, lol, but I prefer BandCamp.

6. Her Debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me, was Released in a Decidedly 21st-Century Sort of Way

As much as I try to kick against the pricks,  the album seems to be a dying format. Billie Eilish released the majority of her 2017 debut EP by dropping a new single each Friday in July of that year. Highlights included “My Boy” and “Idontwannabeyouanymore.”

7. An Acoustic Drake Cover? Why not

In a move it feels like only Billie Eilish could pull off, she released a very sincere acoustic cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” Interestingly, it was released on a limited edition 7” vinyl single with an acoustic version of her track “Party Favor” on Record Store Day in 2018.

8. Youngest Woman

Sure, Billie Eilish is the only singer born in the 2000s to have a #1 single on Billboard. But equally impressively, she is also the youngest woman to have a #1 album in the UK.

9. Record Holder

The incredible career of Billie Eilish transcends her age and gender, but she holds records due to both. When her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released in January 2019, each song shot into the Billboard Top 100. This gave her a total of 14 songs on the chart, the most at one time by a female artist ever.

10. Billie Eilish Influences

Eilish grew up listening to music as diverse as The Beatles, Green Day, Lana Del Rey, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Bieber. Her biggest inspiration, she says, is hip hop, naming Tyler, the Creator, and Childish Gambino as major influences.

11. Billie Eilish as an Opening Act? It Happened, and Who she Opened for Might Surprise You

The majority of bands play as an opening act before they hit it big. Hell, even Jimi Hendrix toured with the Monkees early in his career (and the results were as bad as you’d imagine). Who did Eilish open for in 2018 before striking out on her own headlining tour? Florence and the Machine.

Billie Eilish at a music festival in Belgium in 2019.

12. That Time Billie Eilish Used Audio from The Office

On When We Fall Asleep standout “My Strange Addiction,” Elish incorporates a scene from The Office episode “Threat Level Midnight.” That it’s taken from a season seven episode, which was a couple of seasons after The Office jumped the shark, doesn’t diminish the song.

13. She Recorded When We Fall Asleep in her Living Room

Although she could have used any high-tech recording studio in the world, Billie Eilish decided to record the album mostly in her room using computer software and hardware that is typical for indie musicians. She did it because the location was more “homey” (which makes sense)

14. Horror Movies and Album Covers

The cover of When We Fall Asleep is inspired both by the content of the album (night terrors, lucid dreaming, etc.) and Eilish’s interest in horror movies. 2004 Australian psychological horror film The Babadook was a specific influence.

15. Her Music is so Vast that Critics Have Basically Called it Everything

Some musicians have a single point of reference (Greta van Fleet with Zeppelin, for example). Others mix genres well, but Billie Eilish has seemed to hit such a creative sweet spot that her music defies categorization. It has been described as indie electronic, EDM, dance-pop, synth-pop, R & B, jazz, pop, avant-pop, art pop, and more.

16. She Creatively Gave Fans a Window into her Personal Struggles with When We Fall Asleep

Billie Eilish teamed with Spotify on an immersive experience when her debut full-length was released in January 2019. It featured several rooms, each based on a track from the album, that contained things to smell, hear, and feel. This gave fans a window into her struggle with synesthesia.

17. Billie Eilish was Once a Member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus

Being a part of this Los Angeles organization is where she developed her singing skills. She stated to Vogue that it was through the chorus that she learned the right way to sing without ruining her voice.

Billie Eilish at the Hi Hat in Los Angeles in 2017.

18. Billie Eilish has Tourette’s Syndrome

After video compilations were released that showed her physical tics related to Tourette’s Syndrome, Billie Eilish opened up and talked about living with the disorder. She stated that this made her connect more with her fans, who she was surprised to learn that some of them also had the disorder.

19. Eilish’s Songs were Featured on the 13 Reasons Why Soundtrack

Her song “Bored” was featured during season one of the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack, Additionally, the song she did with Khalid, “Lovely” made it to the season two album.

20. Billie Eilish Graduated from High School at the Age of 15

Billie Eilish and her older brother were both homeschooled and were allowed to focus on whatever subjects interested them. Their parents, former actors, chose to homeschool the pair while not having any set curriculum. Eilish took her high school equivalency test at 15.

21. The Music Video for “When the Party’s Over” was Inspired by a Fan Drawing

A picture drawn by one of her fans which were of Eilish with blacked-out eyes and black tears was the inspiration for the music video for “When the Party’s Over.”

22. Billie Eilish has Almost Full Control Over her Style

From social media to her videos, style, and music, Eilish feels strongly about staying in the driver’s seat. She does not feel that other people should take control of her choices just so that life is easier.

23. The Neighborhood of Highland Park in Los Angeles, California is where Billie Eilish Grew up

Eilish reportedly grew up in this neighborhood where the crime level was deemed as questionable at times. With gunshots and police activity, Eilish has described the neighborhood growing up to have been “sketchy” at times.

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Singer Billie Eilish arrives for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

24. Apple TV+ Released a Documentary About Billie Eilish

The World’s a Little Blurry is a documentary about the making of Eilish’s debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” This album was created in her childhood home with her older brother Finneas.

25. Billie Eilish Won Several Awards at the Grammy Awards

Eilish has won Grammy awards for Album of the Year for two straight years in a row. During the 62nd Grammy Awards, she won a total of four awards in major categories: album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best new artist.

26. Eilish has been a Belieber Since she was About 12 Years Old

One of Billie Eilish’s early influences was Justin Beiber. She has reportedly stated that he was her first love. She actually got to meet him at Coachella for the first time.

27. She was Just Shy of 15 When she Signed her First Record Deal

Billie Eilish was only 14 when she signed with Darkroom/Interscope Records in 2016.

28. The Song “Fingers Crossed” was Inspired by Watching The Walking Dead

If you are a Walking Dead fan, then you may have noticed that some lines from this young musician’s song, “Fingers Crossed” are familiar. This is because the song is about the zombie apocalypse and she was inspired by some of the lines from the hit TV show.

29. Since 2017, Billie Eilish has Done Repeat Interviews with Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has done a repeat interview with Billie Eilish since 2017. It is interesting because while many of the questions remain the same, Eilish’s answers have changed and grown over the years. Her hairstyles have also changed throughout the years as seen during the interview. 

30. During the 2021 MTV VMAs, Billie Eilish Relayed a Message to Young Women

Her song, “Your Power” won her the Video for Good award at the MTV VMAs. Her message to young women comes from the lyrics in the song with the emphasis being on protecting them from abuse of power.

Related Stories: Billie Eilish’s Net Worth Might Surprise You

 

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.

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