Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, the Southern California native went from being a teenager to an international pop star and generational icon in the span of a few short years.
She’s the product of artistic parents who are both enmeshed in the world of acting. Her father Patrick O’Connell has been in TV’s West Wing and films like Iron Man, while her mother Maggie Baird is a screenwriter, voice artist and actress who appeared on episodes of Friends and The X-Files.
Eilish began developing her strikingly emotive vocals after joining the Los Angeles Children’s Choir at the age of 8. She also started taking dance lessons when she was 10, and then began writing her own songs a year later. Her older brother, Finneas O’Connell, had his own band. He was a huge influence on her musically while they were growing up. Both were home-schooled and their parents always encouraged them to follow their passions.
Finneas wrote a song called Ocean Eyes that Eilish performed and released on SoundCloud in 2016. She was only 14 at the time, yet within a day the track had gone viral and not long after she was signed to Interscope Records’ Darkroom imprint.
In 2017, Eilish released the single Bellyache, followed by a song called Bored that was featured on the soundtrack of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Writing and producing all her own songs with Finneas, Eilish’s debut EP Don’t Smile At Me arrived late that summer. Plus she joined forces with Khalid on Lovely, which became a global hit and was used in the second series of 13 Reasons Why.
Eilish’s debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? topped the UK and US charts upon release in March 2019. At the age of 17, she became the youngest female artist in UK chart history to score a No.1 album. Soon after its arrival, Eilish set out on tour, headlining Coachella Festival as well as performing at sold-out arenas in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Her single Everything I Wanted came out at the end of the year.
In January 2020, she made history at the 62nd Grammy Awards as the youngest artist to receive nominations and win in all the major categories – collecting Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.
In February 2020, when she revealed the James Bond theme No Time To Die, it also debuted at No.1, garnering the biggest opening week for a Bond theme song ever. Later that year, Eilish released the lead singles My Future and Therefore I Am from her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, due out on 30 July 2021.
At the 63rd Grammy Awards in 2021, she received four more nominations, taking home Record of the Year for Everything I Wanted and Best Song Written For Visual Media for No Time To Die.
Known for her neo-goth look, baggy clothes and covered-up style, Eilish surprised fans in April 2021 when she changed her black-and-acid green hair to blonde and unveiled a stunning new appearance on the cover of British Vogue, along with the track Your Power. In May, she received her second consecutive BRIT Award for International Female Solo Artist and announced UK dates for Happier Than Ever, The World Tour in June 2022.
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