She might be a “Bad Guy” who is interested in seducing your dad, but Billie Eilish is also a wildly popular artist who has now made Billboard Music History.
Over the weekend, this “Ocean Eyes” singer took home two awards and was nominated for three others. Now, Billboard has announced that she is the Woman of the Year, making this 17-year-old the youngest winner in history.
You go, girl.
It’s crazy to think about, because you see her name in the media all the time and her songs are all over the radio, but this star (whose real name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell) is just 17 years old.
She is set to turn 18 on December 18, just six days after she will receive the Woman of the Year award at the Billboard Music Awards.
Eilish has had two major albums released, Don’t Smile at Me, her EP from 2017, and When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? from this year. Her EP has some major hits, like “Ocean Eyes” and “Bellyache,” but it wasn’t until her CD from this year that she really blew up.
Billboard’s editorial director Hannah Karp spoke publicly about their decision to make Eilish the Woman of the Year.
“Billie has disrupted the entertainment industry through her music and social media platforms, leaving an indelible impact on the global culture zeitgeist,” she said. “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 mold for this generation,”
Okay, I don’t love that Ms. Karp seems to think Eilish is only popular with Gen-Z, as I am both a fan and not in that generation, but I digress.
Some other Billboard-themed accomplishments Eilish has seen this year?
She is the first artist born in this century to have a Number one album on the Billboard 200 chart, and her hit single Bad Guy dethroned “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, which was the longest-running Number 1 song in Billboard history.
Eilish is known not just for her unique and technically impressive vocals, but also her outlandish style. She regularly wears baggy, oversized clothes, dyes her hair a variety of colors (it was black with green roots at the AMA’s this weekend), and rocks an assortment of jewelry that would make any tween Hot Topic fan proud.
Does she sometimes look like she might need a bottle of body wash and a good scrub? Sure, but it’s a look, and it’s working for her.
Example: At the AMA’s this weekend, she wore a black oversized tee shirt that almost came to her knees. Red sequins (maybe glitter, it’s hard to tell) made a fire pattern along the bottom, and it read “NO MUSIC ON A DEAD PLANET.” She completed the look with knee-length board shorts, black and white tube socks, and chunky black sneakers.
She has said in past interviews that she wears what she does so no one can judge her on her body. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.” It’s sad when a 17-year-old has to think about the sexualization and body shaming she’ll experience from the media.
I’m not entirely sure that Eilish’s unique personality and style are welcome in the music industry by other artists. At the AMA’s, when Eilish was accepting an award, Taylor Swift (who won Artist of the Decade) and Halsey (who had a very confusing speech) were the only two that stood for her. That’s… awkward.
I, for one, am interested in what Eilish’s career has in store for her. She has long said she has no interest in drugs or alcohol, and all she wants to do is be her weird self and make music. Who knows what her next album will be about, or if her popularity will continue?
We’re pretty sure it’ll still be weird, though. I’m here for it, even if I’m not in Gen-Z.