Who is Billie Eilish: 9 facts about the Grammy winner

In only her first year as a nominee, Billie Eilish came out on top at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

Not only did the When the Party’s Over singer take home golden statues for the Grammys’ three major award categories — Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year — but she also won five of six she was nominated for, making her the biggest winner of the evening, alongside older brother Finneas O’Connell (best known as Finneas).

At only the age of 18, Eilish is beloved by millions of music lovers across the globe after releasing not only a number of smash-hit singles, but also a critically acclaimed EP, Don’t Smile At Me (2017) and her now-award-winning debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019).

Though it seems Eilish has found incredible success with her music career in the span of only four years, there might have been some left scratching their heads wondering who exactly the mysterious first-time Grammy nominee was after she swept the Recording Academy clean of trophies over the weekend.

So for those curious about the eclectic up-and-comer, here are nine interesting facts we’ve learned about Billie Eilish.


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Her full name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell

That’s right, one of Eilish’s three middle names is, in fact, Pirate.

Pirate was intended to be Eilish’s only middle name, according to the singer, who admitted her uncle didn’t like it during a BBC interview in 2017.

“Pretty weird, right?” she said. “Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad.”

This prompted her parents, Patrick and Maggie, to chose Eilish as her first-given middle name. Baird, meanwhile, is the musician’s mother’s surname, while O’Connell is her father’s.

Billie Eilish performs 'When the Party's Over' at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Billie Eilish performs 'When the Party's Over' at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

She was 13 years old when she dropped her first single

On Nov. 18, 2015, Ocean Eyes was put out for the world to hear. Though it was initially posted to SoundCloud independently, the pop ballad quickly and unexpectedly gained traction online, earning her a very early fanbase.

Eilish was quickly signed to Darkroom and Interscope Records before Ocean Eyes was re-released worldwide exactly one year later and became a global phenomenon.


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The three-minute, 20-second song was written by Finneas for his old band before he decided it would be better suited to his younger sister’s voice.

“We had no intentions for it, really,” Eilish told TeenVogue in 2017. “But basically overnight a ton of people started hearing it and sharing it… It was really surreal.”

Ocean Eyes was the first of Eilish’s songs to reach gold status (on Jan. 25, 2018). It has since been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Eilish and her brother still record from their childhood home

After years of collaborating together from the comfort of their bedrooms, the sibling duo still continues to record music in their Los Angeles home.

“We made the whole album, and the EP even, in his little bedroom, in our house,” Eilish told TV host James Corden last December during one of his infamous Carpool Karaoke segments.

“No booths. No studio. Just the bedroom.”

Finneas, 22, has also served as Eilish’s producer since even before they released Ocean Eyes. 


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Eilish is the youngest artist ever to win the Album of the Year Grammy

On Sunday night, after holding the title for an entire decade, Taylor Swift was dethroned as the youngest ever Album of the Year award winner after When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? earned Eilish the prestigious accolade.

In 2010, Swift earned the award thanks to the success of her second studio album Fearless (2008). She was only 19 years old at the time.

(L-R) Siblings Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell pose in the press room during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif.

(L-R) Siblings Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell pose in the press room during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Rachel Luna/FilmMagic

Eilish had just turned 17 when she released her debut record.

Additionally, the Xanny singer is the youngest artist ever to be nominated and win in all four major award categories (Best New Artist and album, record and song of the year).


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She’s a huge fan of The Office

Last May, Billboard sent American actor Rainn Wilson to Eilish’s home after learning she was a self-proclaimed fanatic of NBC‘s The Office.

Wilson, 54, is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on the beloved series. It was upon his visit to the O’Connell household that he learned Billie Eilish — or, in his words, “William Eyelash” — wasn’t joking.

The musician claims to have seen the show at least 12 times front-to-back.

In a nearly 10-minute quiz video, Eilish proves her knowledge of the show to Wilson, while also becoming starstruck in front of the comic. She continues to answer perhaps some of the most specific and difficult questions pertaining to the since-concluded mockumentary.

Throughout the video, Eilish goes above and beyond simply answering some of Wilson’s tricky questions. She sometimes even finishes his dialogue.


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Eilish dethroned Lil Nas X as No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list

For nine consecutive weeks, Eilish‘s since-platinum-certified single, Bad Guy, sat in the runner-up spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

However, in late August, it finally reached No. 1, kicking Lil Nas X‘s smash-hit cowboy anthem Old Town Road down to No. 3 behind Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello‘s Señorita.

Old Town Road perched atop the charts for a record-breaking 19 weeks before Eilish stepped in and became the first musical artist ever born in the 2000s to have a No. 1 track on the Hot 100 list.

She’s the youngest musician ever to write and record a James Bond theme

Less than two weeks ago, Eilish announced that she had written and was set to record the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die, with Finneas.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” the musician wrote after revealing the news. “To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor.”


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No Time to Die will serve as the 25th installment of the spy series and will be the last of five films to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

It’s unclear when Eilish’s No Time to Die theme will be released.

Billie Eilish at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival Daytime Stage held at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Sept. 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Billie Eilish at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival Daytime Stage held at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Sept. 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev.

CP Images Archive

Most of her releases have hit gold and/or platinum certification

With a whopping 20 singles as a solo artist, Eilish has 17 that have been certified gold by the RIAA.

Thirteen of those, including Wish You Were Gay and Bury a Friend, have even gone platinum, with a handful of others later achieving multi-platinum certification (When the Party’s Over and Bellyache, among others).

In addition, both of her full-length releases, the Don’t Smile At Me EP and When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, have reached platinum status, with the latter being two-times platinum-certified as of Sept. 17, 2019.


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Billboard 2019 Woman of the Year

As Swift was named as the event’s inaugural Woman of the Decade at Billboard’s Women in Music event last month, Eilish was crowned as the Woman of the Year at only the age of 17.

“Billie has disrupted the entertainment industry through her music and social media platforms, leaving an indelible impact on the global cultural zeitgeist,” Hannah Karp, editorial director of Billboard, said of the win.

 

Eilish was chosen for the accolade for myriad reasons, including her success, her social activism efforts and her contributions to the music industry.

“Her ability to speak to the Gen-Z population, making teens and young adults feel accepted in today’s society has quickly allowed Eilish to grow to the top of the charts, breaking the mould for this generation with her electric hair colour and sharp attitude,” Karp said.


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Along with the rest of her discography, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is now available through all major streaming platforms.

For more information and updates on Eilish, you can visit her official website.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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