Billie Eilish accepted Variety’s Hitmaker Award this year alongside a cohort of immensely talented artists. During her acceptance speech, she said one truly shocking thing: Not everyone thought her album had a hit! Let alone multiple.
“When we were working on the album, somebody told me and my brother Finneas, my co-writer, that there was no hit on the album. I don’t know what that was supposed to do, I don’t know how that was supposed to help anyone — but that fool was wrong!” said Eilish after thanking her family and her team. Cool story for the artist who had the long-running No. 2 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this year and landed six Grammy nominations for her debut album.
She added an encouragement for record labels and artist management teams. “Please listen to your artists, even if they have a stupid idea, at least hear them out. It might not be stupid, so just listen to people and be open-minded and trust, and don’t think because it’s not like everything else doesn’t mean it’s bad,” she added. Eilish is the perfect example of what can go right when an artist is given the space to create something for themselves even if it doesn’t look like what’s already out there. But back to someone not believing she had a hit on her album. WHAT. When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? is nothing but hits. It’s like a greatest hits album except it’s Eilish’s debut and she still has a career of hits ahead of her.
Eilish also thanked her brother, collaborator, and best friend, Finneas. The siblings are inseparable and regularly speak publicly about how they wouldn’t be who they are without the other. “We started making music together when I was 13 and he was 17; he produces everything,” said Eilish, singing her brother’s praises. “He’s the only reason I’m anywhere in the whole world and he’s probably the only reason I’m alive.” Finneas quickly jumped in to make us happy cry even harder. Calling out the articles that credit Finneas for not “just” being Eilish’s brother he set the record straight. “Just being Billie Eilish’s brother is all I ever wanna be. I love Billie more than anything else and I’m so grateful to you and I love you.” If I ever need a break from listening to their album, it will be to listen to them talk about each other.
2019 has been Billie Eilish’s year. Fact. She is the youngest artist to ever be nominated for the “Big Four” Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her debut album is the best performing album of 2019. The music video for her single “Bad Guy” has been watched over 650 million times. Let’s not forget her already legendary Saturday Night Live debut. That’s not even touching on her sold-out world stadium tour.
Our enthusiasm for Eilish’s career and future releases is only matched in magnitude by the amount of awkwardness we feel for whoever told her and her brother that the album didn’t have a hit.